Wednesday, September 30, 2009

German Love

Oh, Max Müller, I never knew you had it in you! Thank you, interwebs, for ever bringing me new delights.

While perusing wikipedia this evening, I noted that Max Müller, after moving to England, "supported himself at first with creative writing, his novel German Love being popular in its day."

Now, I can't speak to the quality of the translation, and there are at least two different 19th cent. English translations available on google books, but this is definitely my favorite sentence I've come across so far: "When the rosy dawn of life opens the secret calyx of the soul, it is filled with the perfume of love."

Oh, and now I find that there is also an edition of the German text available on google books with English intro, notes, and vocab by James Chapman Johnston. Here's the above sentence in the original: Wenn das Frührot des Lebens den heimlichen Kelch der Seele öffnet, so duftet alles im Innern von Liebe. Besides the lovely purple prose, the highlight of this particular document is, perhaps, the pink finger-gloved, wedding-banded hand of the poor sap who scanned the book in, visible on the very first page.

This all reminds me a bit of the Classicist Erich Segal, who is perhaps best known for the novel and screenplay of Love Story, and who also wrote the Yellow Submarine screenplay.

I think a trashy novel or two may be in my future...

1 comment:

  1. hahahaha incredible.

    That reminds me of this other anecdote that one of my Greek instructors told me once that a grad-school friend (can't remember exactly who) paid his way through his Ph.D. by writing porno-novels on the weekends.

    Who would have thought that Müller had the same idea?