Monday, January 11, 2016

Onomatopoeia


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Sea, Coast, Baltic Sea, Sailing Vessel Onomatopoeia is a literary device where a word actually sounds like its meaning. The buzz of a bee imitates the bee's flight. The written down howl of a wolf contains the same long vowels of the wolf's cry. It's pure genius the way these words work. Onomatopoeia gives flat letters on the page another dimension—lets them jump off the page and be heard. 

There once was a German seaside resort on the Baltic called Rauschen. Rauschen is an example of German onomatopoeia. The word imitates the roaring of the sea. I’m determined to set a scene in that town just because I think it’s a most wonderful backdrop to the drama of my characters’ lives. I wonder if there's a literary device for words that convey a sense of smell? I want readers to inhale the salt spray off that restless sea.

Here are a few more facts about Rauschen, East Prussia.
1. Name changed to Svetlogorsk in 1946 after the Soviet takeover.
2. Currently it’s part of the Kaliningrad Oblast in the Russian Federation.
3. Population hovers around 10,000. (About the size of Nelson, BC)
4. Rail connection to Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) made it a popular holiday destination.
5. Had a horse racetrack until the Second World War.
6. Is still a popular spa town today, attracting wealthy Russians who have built new vacation homes. 
7. Is on my 'bucket list' of places to go...some day!

(These photos are from Rauschen in the 1930s. Click on them for a bigger image and then note the nazi flag in the lower photo.)


(Photos from the Facebook group: East Prussia in Old Photos)
*For some reason the font has changed and I'm not able to control it. 

2 comments:

Lori said...

I'm updating my passport, and then I can be ready with a 48-hour notice, in case you're looking for an assistant/chaperone, someone to take notes on the spa researching missions.

Gabriele Goldstone said...

For sure! :) We also need a Russian co-traveller...and I have someone in mind!