In the Fall of 2012, my book “Arn? Narn.” will be published by Gosslee. Throughout the period leading up to that, I’ll be blogging about the book and the subsequent work necessary to bring it to market. This blog will be an attempt to share the many wonderful, often funny, sometimes strange, but always rewarding experiences of this journey. Feel free to comment, share your thoughts, ask questions, and ultimately look for it next year.
The project/book “Arn? Narn.” was conceived in 2003. It was originally my intent to explore, photographically, the effects of isolation on a western culture. This isolation would be one of geography: the people would have access to all aspects of communication that mainlanders do thus being connected to the “outside” world, but where they live would be a destination rather than a through-way. One had to intentionally go there. My research led me to Newfoundland. What followed took me on an entirely different and unexpected path with a profound influence on me personally.
One of the things I want to share with everyone is the rich language called Newfoundland English. There is in fact a rather large book entitled Dictionary of Newfoundland English. It’s colorful, quizzical, and the language at its root makes sense if one gives it some thought. And the title of my book, “Arn? Narn.” is what is considered to be the shortest conversation in Newfoundland English.
The story goes that there are two fishing boats in the harbor – one departing, the other returning. The departing boat’s captain yells across to the incoming captain, “Arn?” He replies, “Narn.” Translated it means: “Any fish?”, “No fish.” And that’s the crux of the matter.
I hope you enjoy this and come back often. At the very least, you’ll learn some Newfoundland English. After all, I have a copy of the dictionary.