Literary Mix Tape #5: Words

The devotchka sort of hesitated and then said: “Wait.” Then she went off, and my three droogs had got out of the auto quiet and crept up horrorshow stealthy, putting their maskies on now, then I put mine on, then it was only a matter of me putting in the old rooker and undoing the chain, me having softened up this devotchka with my gent’s goloss, so that she hadn’t shut the door like she should have done, us being strangers of the night. The four of us then went roaring in, old Dim playing the shoot as usual with his jumping up and down and singing out dirty slovos, and it was a nice malenky cottage, I’ll say that. We all went smecking into the room with a light on, and there was this devotchka sort of cowering, a young pretty bit of sharp with real horrorshow groodies on her, and with her was this chelloveck who was her moodge, youngish too with horn-rimmed otchkies on him, and on a table was a typewriter and all papers scattered everywhere, but there was one little pile of paper like that must have been what he’d already typed, so here was another intelligent type bookman type like that we’d fillied with some hours back, but this one was a writer not a reader.

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

My legal name is Alexander Perchov. But all of my many friends dub me Alex, because that is a more flaccid-to-utter version of my legal name. Mother dubs me Alexi-stop-spleening-me!, because I am always spleening her. If you want to know why I am always spleening her, it is because I am always elsewhere with friends, and disseminating so much currency, and performing so many things that can spleen a mother. Father used to dub me Shapka, for the fur hat I would don even in the summer month. He ceased dubbing me that because I ordered him to cease dubbing me that. It sounded boyish to me, and I have always thought of myself as very potent and generative.

Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated

Right ‘bove my head some’un whisped, Name y’self, boy, is it Zachry the Brave or Zachry the Cowardy? Up I looked an’ sure ‘nuff there was Old Georgie crossleggin’ on a rottin’ ironwood tree, a slywise grinnin’ in his hungry eyes. ¶ ‘I ain’t ‘fraid o’ you!’ I telled him, tho’ tell-it-true my voice was jus’ a duck-fart in a hurrycane. Quakin’ inside I was when Old Georgie jumped off his branch an’ then what happened? He dis’peared in a blurry flurryin’, yay, b’hind me. Nothin’ there . . . ‘cept for a plump lardbird snufflyin’ for grubs, jus’ askin’ for a plunkin’n’a spit! Well, I reck’ned Zachry the Brave’d faced down Old Georgie, yay, he’d gone off huntin’ cowardier vic’tries’n me. I wanted to tell Pa’n’Adam ‘bout my eery adventurin’ but a yarnin’ is more delish with broke-de-mouth grinds, so hushly-hushly up I hoicked my leggin’s an’ I crept up on that meatsome feathery buggah . . . an’ I dived.

David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas



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