BOOK CLUB Meeting Summary / New Finnish Grammar by Diego Marani

Evening Moderator: Perica Sever

Date: September 12, 2014 – 7.30 pm
Place: U of T Faculty Club – 41 Willcocks Street, Toronto
BOOK: New Finnish Grammar by Diego Marani (First published in 2000)
Attendees: Nada Raffay, Tonica & Andrija Duic, Gordana & Ivan Vukin, Branka Komparic, Vesna & Luksa Delfin, Mika & Toni Vukas, Sanja Madunic, Lada Demarin, Elizabeth Sakac, Ante Bilic, Jasna & Dubravko Mazur, Perica Sever, Nina Valentic
Recommeded by: Perica Sever

Discussion Summary:

This book is a moving examination of what makes a human being. The story of the main character is simple; however there is nothing easy and nothing obvious about everything else is this book: the Finish history, mythology and language; the ideas of memory, belonging and identity; the war and fatherland; the good and evil. The author dived into deep exploration of how language shapes our sense of ourselves and the world. All these, the basic elements of humanity, encouraged us to pause and to reflect on our own thoughts, feelings and life philosophies.

Discussion details:

We had a rich and engaging discussion, many times on completely opposite sides: was it love or narcissism; was it patriotism or depression; was the ending necessary or not; can identity be described as just language and culture, or is it many more complex, almost infinite, things for each individual; can we love without knowing who we are or are feelings and instincts enough; can we think if we do not possess the knowledge of any language… and on and on … What a treat!!! What a wonderful group of people to be with.

Quote: “Language is a natural phenomenon, peculiar to all humanity. Human stupidity has divided it up into plurality of grammars, each claiming to be the “right” one, to reflect the clarity of thought of a whole people.” Diego Marani

September 12, 2014

Perica Sever