Sunday, March 31, 2013

Roget's ThesaurusRoget's Thesaurus by Peter Mark Roget
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Deux Semillon and a Serve of Monstrachet

Manny and I finally met on middle, if not neutral, ground, France, on my recent sojourn to Le Old World.

He shared with me the secrets of his delight in book-hunting in Paris.

Naturally, he endeavoured to distract me with children's literature, while he scoured the shelves, tables and barrows for erotic material that would yield at least one erection per euro or franc or whatever the universal currency of le porn softe oder concrete is nowadays. (I know, and they say the men of gay Paree are tight with their money or for yours.)

I love the categories that order the shelves of bookshops for our more convenient perusal, literature, popular fiction, children, young adult, paedophilia, reference, self-help, help yourself, science fiction, paranormal, young adult paranormal, paranormal reference, erotica, paranormal erotica, young adult paranormal erotica, oh my god, the choice you have available to you when you only have one hand with which to read.

Anyway, I was happily browsing the young adult paranormal erotica reference section, when Manny arrived with a book and a smurk on his face that I thought betrayed his greater familiarity with culture, whether French, yoghurt or otherwise.

"Here, you must buy this. I can't wait to see your review."

I was flattered by his attention.

It was a French copy of "Roget's Thesaurus".

Of course, I was familiar with the English version. I even collect different editions in English, but had never seen the work in a foreign language.

Imagine what you could learn about a culture by the way they assemble their Thesaurus.

I didn't even have time to turn to the contents page, when Manny said, "Come on, let's go and have une petite déjeuner."

I was grateful to have my Roget at this point, because it added some sophistication and dignity to the balance of my purchases.

Le femme a la biblio cash register even smiled knowingly and respectfully as she tallied le burden financais of my acquisitions.

To tell the truth, I had been une petite apprehensive when I weighed le heft of my Roget, but I vaguely remembered that le Frogs have less words in leur dictionnaire than the English.

Hence its relative heftlessness.

While Manny departed to le bar to acquire une bischen semillon et chevrelous goat's cheese a deux, I freed my Roget from its plain brown paper wrapping, and, yes dear lecteur, I was shocked, shocked, to discover its contents, even more so than le frog cop in "Casablanca".

In rétrospectivement, I suppose I should have seen it coming. Every second page betrayed pictures of a plump boyish garcon almost a la neud bearing little more or less than a t-shirt blanc sur le and/or la apellation "Roget".

And on every second page alternatif was, dare I reveal mon embarrassemente, an explicit hand-drawn and coloured picture of une reptile ancient et humungous described as "le Thesaurus".

Bon acquainted as I am with dinosaurs, this specimen was most cretaceous, possessed of arguably the most definite article I had ever observed, le stuff of legends a la bipedal carnivore lizarde und monsterotica a la Sainte Vierge Karen de la Noble Barnes.

So, mon ami, it is with great humilité et une grave accent that je must disclose that this work of literateur reveals few words, even less synonyms and precious little evidence of le structure de la langue et winding road Francais.

Yes, Manny had tricked moi in the most heartless et despicable fashion a la creme de la creme anglaise.

But I confide in you, my most hannibal lecteur, je suis already parcelle ma vengeance.

Avoir peur, Manny, avoir not just un peu peur, avoir un very big peur.

View all my reviews

No comments: