Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Annotated Pride and Prejudice

I bought this copy of the annotated version of Pride and Prejudice this Saturday. I have read the book several times, but this version with commentaries is so satisfyingly fat and with delicate colours (nicer than the picture shows, and with a smooth, yet textureful surface) that I just had to have it. 5 - 6 comments on each page gives you a more profound knowledge of Jane Austen's own times than by just reading the text.

It is interesting to see how words and phrases have twisted just a notch and today having a sligtly different meaning than back then. As English is not my first language, this is particularly helpful and makes me learn a lot. At the same time, not being a native English speaker, I notice that I am more open to what words might mean, and tend to bend the phrases to what they are supposed to mean. Also, being a Norwegian, I can easily see how many of the words in English stem from the Nordic languages - old Norse, as it is called. Even the syntax of old English resembles our syntax more than the modern English. So being an outsider can be quite helpful in some ways.

Every foreign language will always lead to discoveries. That is what makes it so interesting studying other languages. And I have to say, English is one of my favourites. It is flowing and musical and soft. My major lingua-love might be Latin. There is something so satisfying about that almost mathematical, seamless language. I wish I knew Greek, and Sanskrit, and I would really like to be able to read Chinese and Japanese ---

Well. That's never going to happen. But still...

I am such a dreamer.

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