93. October 2020 - The Languages of Pao


The Laguages of Pao is a novel by Grandmaster Jack Vance, originally published in 1956. It is an exploration of the Safir-Whorf hypothesis that language structure affects the speaker's world view. At the time it was written, this hypothesis was held strongly by many linguists and philologists though it is no longer fashionable. I found the story compelling and the characters fascinating. It is a product of the mid-fifties, and shows, though not (I think) offensively. So - it is old, somewhat sexist, with no sexy bits, and all about linguistics. I expect most of you to opt out, and I can't blame you. Oh! Also the writing style is idiosyncratic as hell, though I - and many others - consider Vance the greatest master of English in Science Fiction. That should scare off any stubborn remnant.





Sign In or Register to comment.