ZANI an Italian clown, a stock character – this is where the word zany comes from…
Z is for…
ZEITGEIST – time ghost in German – the fashions, the trends and the commanding ideas that capture the essence of a specific period in time.
Z is for…
ZEUGMA a literary device that uses a single verb to connect two different objects when the verb should really only refer to one but by making the connection some special idea or image is created.
That’s a complicated explanation for something quite simple – here’s a few examples:
Shakespeare’s Henry V: “Kill the boys and the luggage.”
Benjamin Franklin: “If we don’t hang together, we shall hang separately!”
Charles Dickens: “She looked at the object with suspicion and a magnifying glass.”
and Z is for the writer
a brilliant 19th century French writer who wrote about every class in society with passion and warmth and great clarity.My favourite novels are L’Assommoir written in 1877 and Germinal in 1885 but probably his greatest achievement was not a work of fiction.
When the French intelligence discovered that military secrets were being passed to Germany they prosecuted Captain Alfred Dreyfus , despite the lack of evidence. He was a convenient scapegoat because he was Jewish.
Émile Zola (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Zola was at the height of his literary career when he published “J’accuse“, condemning the authorities for what they did. Zola wanted to be prosecuted for libel because he thought it would be a way of revealing the deep seated antisemitism that created a miscarriage of justice. Rather than be imprisoned he sought refuge in England. Later, when he returned to Paris he died of carbon monoxide poisoning – many still believe that his enemies within the French government were responsible…