Dead Languages

Dead Languages

by David Shields
5.0 2

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Dead Languages 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
David Shields' novel explores the meaning of language and its strong influence on the main character of the story, Jeremy Zorn. Vividly described scenes of Jeremy's childhood guide the reader through his struggle with language, both in his stuttering and in his writing. Jeremy desires to subdue words, to communicate through a form at times most elusive. In contrast, his mother tames words and people at will. It is this contrast that Jeremy seeks to overcome. Jeremy discovers that stuttering is not simply a lapse of language, but also an effect of his acute awareness of the words he attempts to utter. His speech therapist tells him: "If you're ever going to gain complete control of your communicative skills, you have to pay attention to each successive moment of utterance--now and now and now; in other words, the continuously moving present, not previous moments of poor performance and certainly not upcoming feared words." Thus language and life intertwine, each influencing the other. I highly recommend this novel to any audience.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Along with Exley's A Fan's Notes, this is one of the few books I continue to reread regularly. I've never seen adolescence, love, longing, and fear so accurately and perfectly depicted. As someone who grew up with a stutter--like the author--this book was and remains a lifeline in that it taught me I was not alone. Beautiful, tender and unforgettable.