June 24, 2004

From phrase list to drama

Trevor at kaleboel passes the time, "when a talking pig looks like being the highlight of the televisual entertainment", by transforming a Chinuk-wawa glossary into a tragic drama, with "a romantic comedy set on Wall Street ... on its way". The Effle page says that Ionesco used a similar technique to create The Bald Soprano. As I pointed out last winter, classic glossaries and phrase lists often enter into this process with a suspicious degree of ease, requiring little of the creative invention that Trevor displays in working with the more skeletal Chinuk-wawa material.

Posted by Mark Liberman at June 24, 2004 09:42 AM