26 March 2012

Barbara Newhall Follett's artlang

(cross-posted from the Conlang mailing list, with a few additions)

Barbara Newhall Follett was a brilliant young woman who had a couple of novels published at a very young age early in the 20th century. In 1939, at the age of 25, she vanished.

There is a wonderful, haunting article about her life by Paul Collins: Vanishing Act in Lapham’s Quarterly. NPR did a five-minute story about her which you can listen to here: www.npr.org/2010/12/18/

Miss Follett created a conworld called Farksolia which had its own language. Some fragments of the writing, including a page of glossary, can be found here: www.farksolia.org/category/farksolia


The webmaster over there has posted more information about the language.

The text is heartbreakingly short, but here are a couple of excerpts:

light, jir; dark, fune; these words represent day and night, happiness and
[sadness], clearness and vagueness-- however, fune stands neither for sadness or vagueness in a sad sense-- rather seriousness and quiet dimness.

there is a tense of wishing a thing might be, a sort of subjunctive, but untranslatable in English-- an elusive, ideal consummation, a dream, highly improbabl[e] or even impossible of realization. That tense is formed by the suffix -ril to a verb. "The dream of my life would be to go there"-- na oparil.

No comments: