“Colonialism is a terrible bane for a people upon whom it is imposed, but a blessing for a language. English’s drive to exploit the new and the alien, its zeal in robbing words from other languages, its incapacity to feel qualms over the matter, its museum-size over-abundance of vocabulary, its shoulder-shrug approach to spelling, its don’t-worry-be-happy concern for grammar-the result was a language whose colour and wealth Henry loved. In his entirely personal experience of them, English was jazz music, German was classical music, French was ecclesiastical music, and Spanish was the music from the streets. Which is to say, stab his heart and it would bleed French, slice his brain open and its convulsions would be lined with English and German, and touch his hands and they would feel Spanish. But all this, as an aside.” (23)
two phenomenal meditations/metaphors of/in language that are so gorgeous in one day? how fortunate am i? too aware of the blessing to jack prince and maxwell in one line, i’ll tell you that much. but i don’t consider michael jackson a genre, either.