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  • Erleichda is a word, possibly German, possibly made-up, used by Tom Robbins in his novel, Jitterbug Perfume.

    "The word was a transitive verb, an exclamation, a command, of which an

    exact English translation is impossible. The closest equivalent probably would be the

    phrase:

    Lighten up!

    Lighten up, indeed. Against his better judgment and to Pan's chagrin, Alobar

    remained in the flat for a week, subsisting oh crusts of stale bread and flakes of moldy

    cheese. Each night he placed the open bottle of K23 in the sitting room, each morning

    he rushed in and searched for messages in the dust. There were none. That is, there

    was but one, the one and only: Erleichda. "Lighten up!"

    "hrough the heat ducts of the Institute for Advanced Study. No wonder they didn't

    understand Einstein's last words! Einstein's last words weren't in German at all.

    Einstein's last words were in the language of an obscure and long-lost Bohemian tribe,

    and had been taught to him by Alobar.

    Einstein's last words were, "Erleichda, erleichda."

    Indeed, there are doors aplenty there, but

    eventually she does come upon the one to which she was directed. It is marked neither

    EXIT nor ENTRANCE but

    ERLEICHDA. And it is the right door

    June 9, 2009