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Huxley, who, toward the close of his life, noted that nothing in the theory of natural steinef had accounted for the root fact of human speech. How “universal,” in fact, are their invariants? It could give no true account of how human beings, who differ in this cardinal respect from all other known life forms, can acquire and use the infinitely complex, innovative, and at all levels creative instrument of speech.
Extraterrittorial values characterize his life. My feet tread the shadows of the lances that spar for the kill. The contrasting branch of modernity that leads from Joyce and Proust to Nabokov and Borges is extratergitorial in its valuation of time and man but conservative in the formality and geprge governance of its expressive means. Only the article on Celine goes back to my earlier work, to my attempts to locate more precisely the coexistence of political barbarism with literary merit.
It looks very much as if the formidable mental energies and capacities for purposeful combination exhibited by the child master in music, mathematics, and chess are almost wholly iso- lated, extraterritroial if they explode to ripeness apart from, and in no necessary relation to, normally maturing cerebral and physical traits.
The English edition of this book, under the title of No’s Knife, Collected Shorter Prose, includes four items not included in the American version, among them “Ping,” a weird miniature.
They mark both fields, making of them, as it were, branches of a comprehensive science of meaning. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. There is in the Jewish presence a kind of flagrant, ostentatious humanity, a resilient at-homeness in the world.
Though Sartre’s statement is overconfident, it does re- main true that such coexistence is rare, or at least is rare in cases we can document; the career of Gesualdo suggests that musical genius and an exquisite insight into poetry are not necessarily impediments to repeated murder. I see my mother’s face on a level with mine. There can be none, or only its indifferent rudiments, if the patient has not attained a critical level of articulateness, if his own uses of language are too thin or commonplace.
But his personal anthology of English writers is a curi- ous one. Today, any thinking about the nature of language and the relations of language to mind will have to take up either the whole of transformational generative linguistics or, at least, those sections of the model nearest its own concerns. In Textes pour Rienwe learn that we simply cannot go on speaking of souls and bodies, of births, lives, and deaths; we must carry on with- out any of that as best we can. The whole novel is concerned with the insubstantial wonders of the game.
Quite often, in fact, the writer felt more at ease in Latin or in French than he did in his own tongue: MEN tion and range of implication, reach out to the world of the layman.
For to speak of the generation and condition of language is to speak of that of man. The laconic wit of “soul, mind, and carcass finishing neck and neck” would by itself signal the hand of a major poet.
His influence is everywhere, but many gentiles are unable to detect the reek of marsh gas. It is conceivable that Celine, especially after the partial loss of creative confi- dence that seems to have followed on his return from the Soviet Union inbegan taking words for reality, that he no longer related the turbulent geyser of language in- side him to any substantive realization.
Imprisoned in Copenhagen between December of and June ofhe benefited by an amnesty and returned to France in June of Ellison does con- vey is something of the queer, still violence chess engen- ders. Soon I shall know who I am. East Dane Designer Men’s Fashion. This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve. And I’m not God. I include a small piece on chess in this book not only because of its obvious relevance to Nabokov, but to illustrate closely the notion of a mental construct which is at once powerful and formally of ex- treme depth, but also essentially trivial.
Are there entropies in language and expressive resources as there are in matter? Ostrov- sky is all passion and commitment.
Is there an explanation? As is a matrix of society. There can be such a world after him. But the uniqueness of language, the fact that it has existed over what is by geological and biological standards a paltry time-span, the fact that it is only one specialized mechanism of information-storage and conveyance among a host of others, is crucial.
There are fugues of dialogue in Waiting for Godot— although “dialogue,” with its implication of effi- cient contact, is painfully the wrong word— that come near- est in current literature to pure rhetoric: This proliferation of human idiom is an immensely exciting but also scandalous fact.
Borges is a curator at heart, a treasurer of unconsidered trifles, an indexer of the antique truths and waste conjectures which throng the attic of history.
George Steiner, Extraterritorial: Papers on Literature and the Language Revolution – PhilPapers
And when Borges affirms, teasingly perhaps, that Samuel Johnson “was a far more English writer than Shakespeare,” one’s sense of the willfully bizarre sharpens. It makes of Nabokov, Borges, and Beckett the three representative figures in the literature of exile-which is, perhaps, the main impulse of current literature.
Vygotsky’s Thought and Language 1 9 62written in the context of experimental psychology, points the way. And there is no other like him.
Extraterritorial: Papers on Literature and the Language Revolution
The world is an immense alphabet. There, surely, lies one of the real connections. For a good deal of Beckett’s work we do not know whether the English or the French version came first.
How far can we probe into these deep structures and “settings” of consciousness? These are visible, for the first time perhaps, in Heine.
They most probably evolve with and through it. Les Beaux Draps, published inset out the author’s conviction that the defeat and misere of France were the direct result of Jewish intrigue, Jewish foulness, and the well-known pestilence of Semitic influence and treason in high places. Beckett’s thinness, his refusal to see in language and literary form adequate realizations of human feeling or society, make him antithetical to Henry James.
These notions, eloquent in Herder, Michelet, Humboldt, seem to match common sense. A number of his tales and parables can be read as symbolic confessions by a man not fully domiciled in the language in which he chose, or found himself compelled, to write. It comes over you like a fever and you lose all sense of the way things are. We live under a constant wash of mendacity.