22 Following

Kris' Books.

Female. Slavic mind. Avid reader.

 I read across a broad range of book genres, with an emphasis on Aus/NZ lit, Russian and Ukrainian literature, Latin-American literature and European history.


"When you are learning a new language, the first thing you learn is the noun; the word noun is associated with the word name, and naming a thing is knowing it. This is why we cannot pronounce the name of God, because it would be presumptuous to hope to know him. The noun suggests an idea of something, it helps us know it. In Finnish to know is tietaa, and tie means road, or way. Because for us Finns knowledge is a road, a path leading us out of the woods, into the sunlight, and the person who knew the way in the olden times was the magician, the shaman who drugged himself with magic mushrooms and could see beyond the woods, beyond the real world. It is of course true there is more than one possible path to knowledge, indeed there are many. In the Finnish language the noun is hard to lay hands on, hidden as it is behind the endless declensions of its fifteen cases and only rarely caught unawares in the nominative. The Finn does not like the idea of a subject carrying out an action; no one in this world carries out anything; rather, everything comes about of its own accord, because it must, and we are just one of the many things which might have come about. In the Finnish sentence the words are grouped around the verb like moons around a planet, and whichever one is nearest to the verb becomes the subject. In European languages the sentence is a straight line; in Finnish it is a circle, within which something happens. In our language every sentence is sufficient unto itself, in others it needs surrounding discourse in order to exist, otherwise it is meaningless."
  Diego Marani, New Finnish Grammar (trans. J. Landry). London: Dedalus, 2011, p. 56.