Sigrid Nunez, A Feather on the Breath of God, (Harper Collins 1995 )

My mother said, “English is a fine language, it gets you to most places that you want to go. But German is—deeper, I think. A better language for poetry. A more romantic language, better for describing–yearning.”
Her favorite poet was Heine.
She said, “There are a lot of German words for which you have no English. And it’s funny–so often it’s an important word, one that means such a lot. Weltschmerz. How can you translate that? And even if you study German, you can’t ever really learn a word like that, you never grasp what it means.”
But I did learn it, and I think I know what Weltschmerz means (36).

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