Cruising the Green of Second Avenue

Wild Child Publishing has issued the second volume of short stories in Cruising the Green of Second Avenue. The tales take up where Vol. I left off — bringing back Klein the Biker, Straight Charlie and Sammy the Madman while introducing new characters stumbling over life’s difficulties in the late 60s. Vol. II is an e-book published by Wild Child Publishing that you can download, save as a pdf (Adobe) file and print. Read both volumes and see that life isn't all that serious. Find it at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other online book sellers.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

German? A Funny Language? Make me laugh.

Last Sunday’s New York Times Review reminded me of my fascination with the German ability to form long compound words that are impossible to express in English.

Is there any synonym for Schadenfreude, the joy we feel at seeing someone else’s pain? Or Zeitgeist and Doppelgänger?

The Times suggests Dornschőenschlaf (dorn-hoos-sh’yen-shlaf) meaning to pretend you’re asleep to avoid having sex. Fetenlauschangriff, for tuning in and out of numerous conversations at a cocktail party. And Tantalusqualerlősung, for the relief that comes from slaking your thirst with the first martini (or drink of your choice).

I confess that I run across these neologisms and then try to find a way to sneak them into a story. Bildschirmbräune refers to screen suntan, for the pasty faces of computer geeks. That appeared in “Who Dares Call It Murder.” (Odd how I remember our bathing nude on the beaches of St. Martin, when Schiller laughed and pointed. “Bildschirmbräune,” he said. “Screen suntan,” referring to the hours you spent on computers, because your unblemished skin remained pale while I — more advanced — colored like a potted lobster.)

And in my as-yet-unpublished novel, Gerde the dental hygienist is made to say to her lover, “We have a word — Vergangenheitsbewaltigun. It means ‘coming to terms with your past.’ Have you come to terms?”

Now, if I can only find a way to shoehorn Verfremdungseffekt . A wonderful word meaning distancing oneself from a suspended disbelief.

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