The Arousing of Thought – p9

However that may have been, yet the real fact, illuminated from every side like an American advertisement, and which fact cannot now be changed by any forces even with the knowledge of the experts in “monkey business,” is that although I, who have lately been considered by very many people as a rather good teacher of temple dances, have now become today a professional writer and will of course write a great deal—as it has been proper to me since childhood whenever “I do anything to do a great deal of it”—nevertheless, not having, as you see, the automatically acquired and automatically manifested practice necessary for this, I shall be constrained to write all I have thought out in ordinary simple everyday language established by life, without any literary manipulations and without any “grammarian wiseacrings.”

But the pot is not yet full! . . . For I have not yet decided the most important question of all—in which language to write.

Although I have begun to write in Russian, nevertheless, as the wisest of the wise, Mullah Nassr Eddin, would say, in that language you cannot go far.

(Mullah Nassr Eddin, or as he is also called, Hodja Nassr Eddin, is, it seems, little known in Europe and America, but he is very well known in all countries of the continent of Asia; this legendary personage corresponds to the American Uncle Sam or the German Till Eulenspiegel. Numerous tales popular in the East, akin to the wise sayings, some of long standing and others newly arisen, were ascribed and are still ascribed to this Nassr Eddin.)

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As a result of all this, esteemed buyer of my writings, though I now intend to become a professional writer, yet having, as you see, none of the mentioned “automatic experience” for it, I am already willy-nilly compelled to disregard—and if you like, I again confess, I will even, as if intentionally disregard—that language and write in the ordinary simple everyday language established by life, without any so-to-say “grammarian wiseacrings.”


But the pot is not yet full. For I have not yet decided the most important item of all—in which language to write.

Although I have begun to write in Russian, nevertheless as the wisest of the wise, Mullah Nassr Eddin would say, in that language “you-cannot-go-far.”

I recalled this saying from among the many “infallible” and “indisputable” sayings of that, in my opinion, universal teacher, the wisest of all the terrestrial sages, one whom I particularly esteem, and one who, again, of course, in my opinion, ought to be esteemed and respected by everybody without exception—Mullah Nassr Eddin—and I have set it down at this point in my Warning, because of my proposed subsequent writings I intend often to touch upon philological questions also.

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