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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
In the Land of Punctuation
by Christian Morgenstern
Age Range: 14+
In the Land of Punctuation is a unique picture book based on the German poet Christian Morgenstern’s playful poem centered around punctuation that was written in 1905. A comic poem on language which Morgenstern called ‘a linguistic caprice’ is populated by punctuation marks as characters. They take on a life of their own that goes beyond language and the political undertones are unmistakable.
"But, woe! A new war looms large,
as dashes against commas charge".
This illustrated edition combines an inventive dance of text and image. The original English translation has been given a modern twist by Sirish Rao, creating a highly visual translation of Morgernstern’s text. Rathna Ramanathan has done a superb job to typographically ‘illustrate’ the text and design the book. Although this is a picture book for adults, it is suitable for teenagers who will enjoy this unusual poem as it meets at the crossroads of language, design and politics.