One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Julian Barnes: A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters

Julian Barnes. Again. Don't "love love" him, but on the other hand I keep coming back. A friend says it's about multiple voices. Dunno. Certainly he has a point here: "A" History.


Kind of just about where I am (Kindle says 66%):

     Sunday. That thing about the Indians. To tell you the truth I was a bit miffed when I found out, but now I'm beginning to see it from their point of view. I told you I was learning the language -- she's really very sweet and not a stitch on but as I said no need to worry, angel, riddled with diseases I'm sure, apart from anything else, I mean. It turns out that half the words she's been teaching me are all wrong. I mean, they're real words except they're not the right ones. The first thing I learned more or less was thkarni which means -- well she said it meant -- this white stork we've been seeing a lot of. So when we saw one go flapping by I used to shout thkarni and the Indians would all laugh. Turns out -- and I learned this not through Miguel but our second guide who hasn't said much most of the trip -- that thkarni is the Indians' name -- well, one of their many names, to be precise -- for you-know-what. The thing up which the little fish in the river swims if you aren't careful. Same goes for about half the words I've been learning from that little minx. I've learned about 60 I suppose overall and half of them are duds -- naughty words or words for something completely different. I was majorly unpleased as you can imagine at the time but I think what it does show is that the Indians have got a terrific sense of humour.
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