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ideas have consequences

You are here:Home>>Strategic Research & Analysis>>Achebe: German Language and 'Things Fall Apart'
Sunday, 09 June 2013 21:23

Achebe: German Language and 'Things Fall Apart'

Written by Jalees Rehman
photo:huffington post photo:huffington post

Composites: German Language and 'Things Fall Apart'

I read "Things Fall Apart" to find my past, but it defined my future. It helped me recognize the beauty of the English language and prepared me for life in a way that no book had ever done before.

 

Even though our teachers indulged such playfulness when we wrote in German, they were all the more harsh when it came to our English assignments. They knew that we had a hankering for creating long sentences, so they returned them to us covered in red ink markings, indicative of their syntactic fervor. This obsession with short sentences and words took the joy out of writing in English. German was the language of beauty and poetry, whereas English became the language best suited for efficient communication. By the time I reached my teenage years, I began to lose interest in writing anything in English beyond our mandatory school assignments. I still enjoyed reading books in English, such as the books of Enid Blyton, but I could not fathom how a language of simple sentences and simple words could be used to create works of literary beauty. This false notion fell apart when I first read "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe.

 

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Jalees Rehman, M.D.   -  Scientist and physician

Last modified on Sunday, 09 June 2013 21:28

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