Il paragrafo seguente mi ha fatto molto ridere e per questo ve lo propongo:
Sex, Steiner thinks, is mediated by language in interesting ways. “I have every reason to believe,” he writes, “that an individual man or woman fluent in several tongues seduces, possesses, remembers differently according to his or her use of the relevant language.” This isn’t an unexpected position for Steiner – who has written extensively on translation and “the polyglot condition” in general – to take. But eyebrows have been raised over his arresting examples of multilingual sex-talk, which draw on his own characteristically recondite experiences. A French lover, he writes, once distracted him “in, as it were, mid-flow” by using a tricky subjunctive pluperfect (“Proust may have been among the last to handle these with ease”). “V”, whose dreams were filled with “cats, chamberpots and left-handed firemen”, liked Viennese place names: “Thus ‘taking the streetcar to Grinzing’ signified a gentle, somewhat respectful anal access.”
Tempo fa, sempre il Guardian aveva pubblicato una recensione dell’ultimo libro di Steiner, My Unwritten Books, una raccolta di saggi, fra l’altro sulle sue avventure sentimentali/sessuali.
Steiner, however, breaks his own vow to forswear what he calls ‘publication’, which for him means making public the secrets of his soul, with some tangy glimpses of his sex life. A female colleague at a high-minded colloquium passes him a note suggesting a fuck; after a lecture in Oklahoma, an ‘ebony’ academic tops up his fee by taking him to bed. The coital toil of the lower body never manages to switch off Steiner’s hyper-active head and he looks back on his amorous adventures as a course of research in comparative linguistics. What, he wonders, would it be like to make love in Basque or Russian (as opposed to Finnish or Korean)? As DH Lawrence insisted, the best words are the good old four-lettered Anglo-Saxon ones. Maybe Steiner knows too many languages and has forgotten what a tongue is for.
Ho sempre pensato che meno ne sappiamo della vita privata di un intellettuale famoso, meglio è. Per lui e per noi.
Non credo di aver torto.
Postato da: IM