In Other Words

In Other Words - Jhumpa Lahiri Me and Italian language go way back. In fact, ours has become a long-lasting relationship even though I have often neglected him along the way – English has always been of greater use, and then I met German who I had to get close to. Not to forget Bulgarian who was there from the start.

I have love stories with all of the above mentioned languages. And these are some colourful and passionate stories. I could sit down and put them to paper.

But I am not called Jhumpa Lahiri.
Nobody would care. My stories are unique to me and Lahiri’s story is unique to her, but I feel like she is a bit behind on things. People all over the world, mostly those whose mother tongue is not English, have been learning and connecting with languages for a long time. I am sure most of us can relate to her story, but I don’t see the point of it being published. For someone who writes about love for language, the language she uses is repetitive and clichéd. It is self-indulgent and vain. In the end, it is simply pointless.
It was a smart move on the author’s part to choose to write this in Italian – a language that, unlike English, allows you to talk about yourself without overusing the omnipresent ‘I’ word. Still, this book is ultimately all about the ‘I’ and not about the language.

In Other Words will probably be a good read for anyone interested in Jhumpa Lahiri.
For anyone interested in a non-fictional account of the magic of language, someone like Wittgenstein is the author to go to.