Wednesday, 25 November 2015


I am in love with Peter Wimsey. Not even a little bit. I really do love him.

I met him in a taxi many years ago.
He was going to an auction, but had forgotten his catalogue and the first thing he said was:
"Oh, damn". How can you not love a man like that?

Lord Peter Wimsey is the main character in Dorothy L. Sayers detective novels published from 1923 until the beginning of the second European world war.
In 1998 an unfinished manuscript was edited and published by Jill Paton Walsh who since then has continued publishing a number of books based on Sayers writings and now, quite independently, extends the story about Peter and his wife Harriet Vane.

I own - currently, I might add - 41 physical books about Peter Wimsey. All titles, most first or old editions, and in several languages. This is not too many and none will get cleared out in the November Challenge.
I also have all books as electronic versions to dip into when bored, and to reread several times a year.

There used to be many more physical books in my possession but in the great clear-out in 2014, I got rid of many of the lesser good editions and translations (including a horrid German translation of Busman's holiday, that skipped all sentences with words too difficult to translate!).

Books that you have read so many times that you almost know them by heart, are a wonderful way of training your new language. While the original text runs in the back of your head, you can read the translators version on the page. New words will become connected to old phrases. Although a translation always will present a character in a different light (which is why you never really want to read a translation if you can read the original), it will always aim to retain some of its original flavour.

(The man has read most if not all the Wimsey books too.
He had to; he had to know who the competition was. A fictional character!
I was horrified to hear it. But I know it is true. Often I start a sentence with: "Oh, this reminds me of what Peter said..." adding a long quote.
The man claims his other competition is Emperor Charles V whom I also constantly refers to.
I should be utterly ashamed of myself - but I can't be. I know that to be true too.)

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