Abbas Khider’s fifth book, Deutsch für alle: Das endgültige Lehrbuch (German for Everyone: The Definitive Manual, 2019), is a slender tome of heavy laughter. Ostensibly motivated by a desire to help foreigners learn the language and natives to bring German among the elegant and accessible languages of the world, Khider echoes Mark Twain’s sentiment that the study of German is “harassing and infuriating.” Surely, the author of Tom Sawyer wrote in A Tramp Abroad (1880), “There is not another language that is so slip-shod and systemless, and so slippery and elusive to the grasp”; when German speakers finish a very long sentence, they themselves must experience a “touching inquisitiveness” as to what they have just said, he told journalists and writers at the Concordia Club in Vienna in 1897.1 Like linguists in pursuit of an ideal language, Twain and Khider streamline sentences, articles, and prepositions, straight-facedly trimming...
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Research Article| November 01 2021
Affordances of a New Language: Abbas Khider’s Claim to Community in German for Everyone
New German Critique (2021) 48 (3 (144)): 141–163.
Corina Stan; Affordances of a New Language: Abbas Khider’s Claim to Community in German for Everyone. New German Critique 1 November 2021; 48 (3 (144)): 141–163. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-9305526
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