Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chuck Palahniuk says...

'I had just done this hideous radio interview in Berlin for German public radio. At one point, I meant to say 'Sieht so aus als haettest du all dein Deutsch vergessen,' which means 'I guess I've forgotten so much German.' Only I misconjugated the verb 'vergessen' to 'vergast', and when I came out of the interview, the publicist was furious with me. 'Vergast' is the past tense of the verb 'to gas people to death.' I even said 'Deutsch' wrong - I put an 'r' in, which turns it into meaning 'German people' instead of the language. What I actually said was 'I'm so sorry that I have gassed to death so many German people.' I was mortified. (What happened? Did you hear any backlash?) No, I fled. I got on a train and I was out of there and I just felt awful, I had insulted thousands of people. How could I say that? And I started thinking, maybe it's our crimes, the things we do hideously wrong, that gives God some pleasure in ending our lives. Maybe it's our sins that give God consolation when he finally has to give us cancer.'

-Chuck Palahniuk (from an interview with Claire Saddath, Time magazine, 2009)

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