The Ingenious Language: Nine Epic Reasons to Love Greek
"A brilliant meditation on language and life."--Bookriot
For word nerds, language loons, and grammar geeks, an impassioned and informative literary leap into the wonders of the Greek language. Here are nine ways Greek can transform your relationship to time and to those around you, nine reflections on the language of Sappho, Plato, and Thucydides, and its relevance to our lives today, nine chapters that will leave readers with a new passion for a very old language, nine epic reasons to love Greek.
The Ingenious Language is a love song dedicated to the language of history's greatest poets, philosophers, adventurers, lovers, adulterers, and generals. Greek, as Marcolongo explains in her buoyant and entertaining prose, is unsurpassed in its beauty and expressivity, but it can also offer us new ways of seeing the world and our place in it. She takes readers on an astonishing journey, at the end of which, while it may still be Greek to you, you'll have nine reasons to be glad it is.
No batteries or prior knowledge of Greek required!
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About the Author
Andrea Marcolongo is an Italian journalist, writers, Classics scholar, and former speech writer for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The Ingenious Language was a bestseller in Italy and in many of the other dozen countries in which it has thus far been published. She is also the author of The Heroic Measure.
Will Schutt is the author of Westerly, winner of the 2012 Yale Series of Younger Poets award. His poems and translations have appeared in Agni, Narrative, The New Republic, and The Southern Review. For his translations of poems by Edoardo Sanguineti he received grants from the NEA and PEN/America. He lives in Baltimore.
Praise for The Ingenious Language
"Andrea Marcolongo's love of Ancient Greek is infectious in this brilliant meditation on language and life." --Bookriot
"[Andrea Marcolongo] shows how languages give us new ways of seeing and understanding the world."--The Guardian
"The Ingenious Language has the potential to change your sense of reality."--Refinery29
"Anyone who values the study of language will delight in this spirited defense of the effort being worth the reward."--Publishers Weekly
"Andrea Marcolongo is today's Montaigne. She possesses an amazing familiarity with the classics combined with the ease and lightness of those who surf the web. But Montaigne's incandescent injunctions are all there: the humility not just to know but to accept who one is, the courage to love, and finally the joy of steering one's course in this strange voyage called life. There is wisdom and grace here to last the ages." --André Aciman, author of Call Me by Your Name
"[Andrea Marcolongo's] declaration of love for Ancient Greek does more than celebrate the virtues of its grammar, it shows us modern fools how this language can help us understand ourselves better and live a better life." --Le Monde
"The Ingenious Language is not a grammar text, but a love story with a language and its ability to affect our senses. [ . . . ] Rather than reducing the strangeness of ancient Greek to a list of rules to be memorized, Marcolongo uses it to fascinate us, transforming nine linguistic peculiarities into existential questions." --La Stampa
"The Ingenious Language is an extraordinary, absolutely original book. [ . . . ] A young classics scholar, Marcolongo is driven by an obsession: demonstrating that, with ancient Greek, life is more exciting, colorful, and attractive." --Italian Association for Classic Culture
"Marcolongo writes about ancient Greek in a new, non-academic way. Her aim is to excite our interest for a language that today seems more alive and necessary than ever, because of its ability to 'tell complex things with simple, true, and honest words'." --Corriere della Sera
"The Ingenious Language is a love letter which aims to the dispel the dread that surrounds ancient Greek. Marcolongo insists on the current relevance of a language that many consider dead." --Rivista Studio