• Brian

For fellow bibliophiles and friends:


Deutschwörtervergnügen is the "pleasure of German words," particularly those that embrace German's compound word elegance to generate "simple" ways of expressing otherwise ill defined aspects of the human condition. For example, I am almost daily oppressed by an anxiety I should write the great American novel or some other epic thing; surely that's in me somewhere, right?


The German language may suggest my condition or malaise is possibly something like, "Grossenromanschreibenschermzen" or "large/great novel writing pain." I, of course, made that up from my past German experience and Google Translate -- I am sure the actual German word for this exists, and is much more elegant than what I've thrown together here.


The other Axis power (!) also has something of an edge here to contribute. In reading and studying up on finding literary agents, I discovered "Tsundoku," or the piling up of never-will-be-read books. Tsundoku's fateful cousin is of course, addiction. And what is addiction, it is an irrational expression of one attempting to free themselves from some sort of pain. I found the word embedded in ever-oppressive marketing logic -- otherwise why would one "operationalize" this word in English and American culture, right? ...the reason this word might enter the Anglo's lexicon is not necessarily "simply" to enjoy the nuance of Japanese language and culture, but rather one must work to pierce this pile of books in one's own marketing and writing, otherwise, why bother writing and publishing?


Don't get me wrong, I understand writers need to market and sell books to earn a living. The torment I feel between making money from art -- and how hard one has to work to get there -- versus simply doing the thing, is real...what's the German word for that?

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