Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fascinating ephemera


I've been using the label "ephemera" when I've written about my own life or about family matters or stuff like that. The word is also used when one talks about little publications that don't fall into category of books or magazines. I have some fascination for this kind of publications and you can only wonder what I felt when I noticed that at the university library here in Turku there was a remainder shelf with very obscure ephemera (and to be sure, some books and periodicals also). And everything was free: take away! For four days, I spent my leisure time, away from reading my forgotten Finnish writers in the reading-room, digging the shelves and taking up everything that seemed even remotely interesting. ("Even remotely interesting": that sums up my life pretty much.)

I'll be posting some of my finds in coming days. At first we have a Hungarian cultural magazine from the thirties with a very nice Modernist Functionalist cover. I don't really know what the magazine is about, but who cares? (I'll be writing about Kevin Wignall's Who Is Conrad Hirst? as I promised, but that will have to wait, maybe till tomorrow. It was just as excellent as I first said.)

2 comments:

Peter said...

It's a nice-looking cover, but now for my big question: Are the Finnish and Magyar languages even remotely mutually intelligible, both being Finno-Ugric languages?

I may be travelling to Hungary soon, and I don't even know how to say "Pass the paprika / How about a game of chess?" in Hungarian.
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Juri said...

We just talked about this with my wife who's done a bit of reading in Finno-Ugrics and we came to a conclusion that we don't really understand anything about Hungarian. There are some really, really ancient words that sound the same in both languages (like blood - it's "veri" in Finnish and "ver" in Hungarian, as anyone drinking their Egri Bikaver red wine knows, it means "bull's blood" (or something to that effect)), but beside that, I understand as much as you. We've both heard of instances where someone speaking Finnish is thought to have been Hungarian or vice versa, but it must be the accent.