Life Is Very Difficult

May honest folk proper.

The pleasure of learning English (part2)

The pleasure of learning English (part1) - Life Is Very Difficult


The second case where I took great pleasure in learning English was when I was a sophomore. Having begun to teach English as a part-time job, I felt it necessary to improve my English skills. So, I began to study a book about English comprehension. It was written by a professor of one of the prestigious universities in Japan. The author provided me with such English sentences as I found more difficult to interpret than those I read when younger. Above all, this sentence was most striking.

No stupid apology for pain has ever been devised than that it elevates.

If I remember correctly, it was quoted from the book by William Somerset Maugham, A Writer’s Notebook. The “that” after the “than” puzzled me beyond measure. After a few hours of consideration, I finally gave in and read the explanation of it. The author gave the clearest and the most sagacious account imaginable. It blew my mind. 

But was it really a pleasure of learning English? Rather, it seems to me to have been a pleasure of understanding what wise people try to convey to you. So it would be safe to say that this pleasure was also that of feeling connected to the outside world. For I know, as surely as I feel the uncomfortable chair beneath my hips, that I was, and am, far from being wise like them.