What is "Metaliterature"? It is literature about literature, in this case, views, reviews, and thoughts provoked by stuff I've read. I'm hoping this might be a chronicle of the brain of a life-long reader as guided by intertextual coincidence. If you like what you read, read what I like.
Currently domiciled in the Vale of Glamorgan.
The Etymologicon by Mark Forsyth, aka The Inky Fool
The address at which the Inky Fool can serve legal documents can be found below...
It would be folly to attempt a comprehensive review of a
book that reviews, meanderingly, select elements of the language of 328 million[i]
Germanic Indo-European family members, especially using said language so to do –
oh the irony! So, as not to disappoint those who may read more than once, here’s
my particular folly, that of ignoring sage[ii]
advice in the misguided belief that stubbornness and orneriness in the face of
overwhelming reason was in fact the championing of the underdog in all but lost
causes in some act of romantic nobleness. No windmill shall remain at which one
has not tilted[iii].
What was I saying? Oh yes, The Etymologicon[iv],
for that is the work to which I am referring. Of course, persiflage aside, it
very much depends on what your expectations are before opening the book as to
what you will take from it once you’ve finished. If you’re a devotee of the Inky Fool blog, from which this was constructed, then I am micturating against
the prevailing south-easterly. If you happened to hear the Radio 4 serialisation
with Hugh Dennis and thus sallied forth to infiltrate a place of purveyance (of
such provisions) in order to negotiate the vending of some verbose literature,
then you may, like me, have found the presentation a little breathless and the
book will be a welcome respite, insomuch as the printed word is a delicacy over
which one is able to take one’s time. However, if you were looking for anything
but a circular and rather ambulatory stroll through the odd connections of the
English language, instead, searching for a Brewer’s or similar reference work,
you are likely to be disappointed. Mr Forsyth isn’t heavy on the footnotes and
references, indeed falling back on a blanket “check out these sites at which I
found out most of the things I know and have conveyed herein”[v]
reference to take care of the details.
No matter, as what one finds in any case is really rather
quite good, and again, fanatics need read no further lest they be insulted by
my lack of hyperbole masquerading as fact, as what Mr Forsyth offers is a smorgasbord
of tasty etymological nuggets, with a delicious cheesy fondue[vi]
in which to dip them. Snack as you wish, or gorge outright, you will not really
want to do anything but tell your long-suffering spouse all about every single
entry to the point where he or she breaks and cancels your credit cards, shoots
the dog and torches the house, parked across the street watching the flames climb
higher, all Halloween orange and chimney red[vii].
Give it a punt. Sorry, a Dennis. Sorry, I should keep the
puns on Twitter. Sorry.
as of 16th February 2012 if correct
is the right word to use of any information lifted without proofing from
Middle English, coming itself from the Latin - via Old French – sapere meaning to be wise, and not, as
my friend once pointed out, smelly herbs often found on pork
sentence just made my top twenty-six of my worst sounding but grammatically
And not The Entymologicon, which was
a terrifying journey into the world of some very scary mini-beasts and one not
recommended by this reviewer for anyone of a nervous or paranoid disposition
Sorry, but my dad still has my copy,
so I couldn’t quote from the references page at the back and therefore came up
with a paraphrased version that suitably conveys the message, I think
to anyone who quite rightly spots the ongoing influence of The Cheese Shop
sketch in this review – I solemnly promise to never watch Monty Python sketches
on YouTube before attempting a quasi-serious review again