“Brent Berlin and Paul Kay in Basic Color Terms demonstrate exhaustively and empirically, the very simple thesis that anywhere in the world, as a language develops and acquires names for color, the colors always enter in the same order. The most primitive are black and white. Then red. Then either green or yellow.” – Alexander Theroux, The Primary Colors
This is a brilliant book that will open your eyes to the world of colour. It’s a collection of three essays based on the primary colours: blue, yellow and red.
“Its odd strength but soft moody ethereality is yet another enigma in the colour.”
“It represents tradition, contentment, timelessness, fulfillment, fullness and lasting immemorial values.”
“Yellow is vagueness and luminousness, both.”
“I once knew a young woman from Moorestown, New Jersey, whose voice, I used to think, was pale yellow, as enervatedly she droned on and on in her dull, unimaginative way.”
“Red is the boldest of all colors. It stands for charity and martyrdom, hell, love, youth, fervor, boasting, sin and atonement.”
“It is generally agreed that of all colors, red has the strongest chroma and the greatest power of attraction. It is at once positive, aggressive and exciting. It is strong, simple, primary.”
This is a very informative book; it taught me so much from categories such as literature, poetry, linguistics, art, history, religion, science, botany, mythology and culture. It was a fascinating read and has a lot of interesting personal anecdotes and references to literature and art that I will look up later. Alexander Theroux is extremely erudite and I found myself looking up words in a dictionary more than a few times.
It took a Google search for me to realize that Alexander Theroux is the brother of Paul Theroux, the famous travel writer, and thus the uncle of Louis Theroux, the journalist. What an incredible literary family!