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The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows af John…
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The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (udgave 2021)

af John Koenig (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
444556,627 (4.28)10
Poetically defining emotions we all feel but don't have the words to express, the creator of the popular online project of the same name invites readers on his epic quest to fill the gaps in the language of emotion.
Medlem:RossStein
Titel:The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
Forfattere:John Koenig (Forfatter)
Info:Simon & Schuster (2021), 288 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
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Nøgleord:Ingen

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The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows af John Koenig

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Thought provoking, brilliantly written, deep, fascinating and szygnatic (I made the last word up).
I read the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows steadily across the year, primarily because the content requires time to consider and too many new words in one sitting lessens the impact.
The book was so good, I plan to have a couple of weeks off to begin again in January and take another year to re-read the book. ( )
  CraigGoodwin | Dec 18, 2023 |
Got this for Christmas, although for some reason, it was delayed. No matter, it was well worth the wait. I confess I haven't "finished it" because it is a dictionary of sorts, and I keep in the bathroom to read a bit at a time. Who cares. Move on.
Physically, the book is beautiful, feels good in the hand, and is visually appealing, in a sort of well, in an alternate universe, this book could have magic and power. It should hum or have fairy sparks coming from it. It does have power, truly.
This is a dictionary of words that don't exist but should, to describe the feeling of certain moments like looking wistfully out a windowpane that is dripping with rain. The words are carefully constructed, often with Latin roots, such that they SHOULD exist, and well, now they do.
I think the title may be a bit misleading. This is not a volume designed to make one despair, to get the hankies out and boo-hoo along with the saddest songs one can think of. Rather, it is a poetic journey through fleeting moments and recognitions.
For example: Echthesia: noun A state of confusion when your own internal sense of time doesn't seem to match the calendar--knowing that something just happened though it apparently took place seven years ago; or that you somehow built up decades of memories in the span of a year and a half.
I sure have this and am delighted to have it put to words. I assumed my woogie sense of time was either early onset Alzheimer's or a byproduct of being the child of alcoholics. There's hope, then.
Wildly creative and wise, these new words rearrange my brain a bit and make me yearn to write poetry. Unfortunately, to date, I don't seem to demonstrate an ability for same, but this would surely help.
Poets? Writers? Dreamers? Bibliophiles? You need this dictionary. Ha-ha, pun intended, take not mine, but Mr. Koening's word for it! ( )
  JEatHHP | Aug 23, 2022 |
I have been in love with The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows for many years, always overjoyed to see the words floating around, and always wishing they'd be arranged in a physical copy someday and I am beyond thrilled to see that finally happen!

This book is beautiful in so many ways. Even though these are made up words to express feelings it makes my heat jump to come across one that perfectly describes the feeling or mood I'm experiencing in a far more eloquent way than I could come up with on my own.

I can not wait until this hits shelves I will absolutely be purchasing my very own copy. Fellow word nerds, writers, anyone with deep emotions should be lining up for this one as well.

Thank you NetGalley and John Koenig and publisher for allowing me to view an e-copy in exchange for my honest opinions. ( )
1 stem chasingholden | Apr 26, 2022 |
A dictionary of made up words that put meanings to obscure feelings. I loved it, I kept saying I know that feeling! Some of the words made me think of certain people in particular. A book to flip through at random. ( )
  bookdrunkard78 | Jan 6, 2022 |
For those moments when the keystone metaphors, like the glass of grey lemonade or the glass-shattering voice or the Glass family, and the go-to narratives of discovery and sweep, like Nick Urfe on the island and Riddley Walker hermeneuting the Punch show, lack the desired precision, and when the language of joy and sorrow and amusement and dread just isn't doing it for you, here are some intriguing further options. To have noted and taxonomized all these, John Koenig is either a high-level synaesthete or an epic-level impressionist. I just wish I could consult it on my bedside and give it to my friends. Some of the more familiar feelings here:


la cuna, n. a twinge of sadness that there’s no frontier left, that as the last explorer trudged with his armies toward a blank spot on the map, he didn’t suddenly remember his daughter’s upcoming piano recital and turn for home, leaving a new continent unexplored so we could set its mists and mountains aside as a strategic reserve of mystery, if only to answer more of our children’s questions with “Nobody knows! Out there, anything is possible.”


lalalalalia, n. the realization while talking to yourself that someone else is within earshot, which leads you to crossfade into mumbled singing, an auditory sleight of hand that distracts the audience from the exposed platform under your persona while you prepare to saw your confidence in half.


kinnitus, n. n. the state of imagining a hypothetical extra sibling, whose vibe would be a riff on who you are but in a different key, a countermelody weaving in and out of harmony with your quirks and urges and rages and flaws, a variation on a theme—already so faint you can only hum parts of it with your eyes closed—that you’re ultimately unable to distinguish from that of The Flintstones.


amuse-douche, n. the moment when your enjoyment of something you’ve adored since you were a kid—riding bikes, taking photos, eating, running around—evaporates on contact with hardcore fanatics whose ferocious obsession with technique sounds as satisfying as slurping through the last airy dregs of a slushie, which gives you the emotional equivalent of brain freeze.


peekaboo radley, n. the moment you make a show of looking away as someone types their password in front of you, a kabuki treaty from one naked emperor to the other that encodes your mutually assured disinterest in the tempting cache of cookies hidden just underneath the floorboards.


trip the light craptastic, v. intr. to deliberately flaunt your flailing awkwardness while dancing, a skill which would anyway only undermine your secret status as a virtuoso of lurching, which will continue to be dismissed as the lesser of the two talents until the day the arc of the moral universe arrives at justice.


antigravitas, n.. a desire to plummet upward through an electric blue summer sky for just long enough to wish you’d brought a beach novel to pass the time.


cantonic, adj. inexplicably cheered by learning of some peaceful province whose citizens don’t identify with the nation at large and proudly fly the flag of their idiosyncratic home (e.g. Bavaria, Quebec, Flanders), hinting that we can disagree about questions of identity without overturning cars and lapels trolling for loyalty oaths.


analexia, n. a period of six microseconds of alienation borne from the suspicion that your toilet technique is different from most other people.


goodbye's overtime, n. the resigned, familial vibe between two people who have shared an emotional farewell but then unexpectedly have a little extra time together, forced to fill in the cracks of their botched drama with those sweet banalities that unite them in spite of their grand gestures.


dry pocket,n. the phantom vibration of a hip whose corresponding pocket is phoneless, which is a psychosomatic alert that you are losing the ability to sightread the mood of one of your friends.


gnasche, n. the intense desire to bite deeply into the forearm of someone you love.


lexisuende, n. the pride in one’s own indifference upon encountering a word of which one does not know the definition, conferred by deliberately shirking limitless access to knowledge.


vanepocentrism, 1a: n. relief upon learning that physicists now know the universe isn’t in fact expanding at an accelerating rate, because there is no unseen ‘dark energy’ permeating all things and forcing them apart;

1b: n. the realization that a corollary of 1a is the idea that we float in a vast wave of emptiness uncharacteristic of the rest of the universe and that everything is careening away from us at a rate far more contant than we’d thought, almost all of it already too far away for our radio signals to reach in time before the expanding sun subsumes the Earth whole like Cronus jealously devouring his children;

2: n. the perspective that 1b inspires after you happen to run into your ex in the birthing hall at the State Fair. ( )
1 stem MeditationesMartini | Jul 19, 2010 |
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Poetically defining emotions we all feel but don't have the words to express, the creator of the popular online project of the same name invites readers on his epic quest to fill the gaps in the language of emotion.

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