These non-sentences are at least intelligible. Much of Ms. Badkhen’s prose is not. Are you annular, gracile, eldritch or polypous? Do you want to learn what thurls, anabranches and alkahests are, or how to adumbrate or anastomose? Fear not: You don’t have to go all the way to Mali. Just send someone there to learn the local language and then write back in English. Presto: everyone will think you’ve learned Fulani, but you are actually still speaking the mother tongue.
Frequently, when the Scrabble dictionary fails to provide a word of sufficient obscurity, the author will simply invent one, each more pretentious and unnecessary than the last. Something that is gray-blue in color is “grayblue”; a cooking fire is a “cookingfire”; herding at night is “nightherd.” English is blessed with more words than any other language. There is no need to borrow from our German friends the horrors of compound wordmacht.
Will Self has a lot to answer for…..