Thursday, March 27, 2008

more beckett! but not really..

Right after my last rumination on Beckett, I sat down on the toilet, picked up a copy of the TLS and what do I find but an article on Stéphane Mallarmé and Samuel Beckett and how for them foreign languages were a way out of the familiar and into primal sounds! Well, knock me on the head with a bamboo stick.

Funnily, the only thing that resonated for me in all this Beckettbabble was a quote from Virginia Woolf:

"In illness words seem to possess a mystic quality. We grasp what is beyond their surface meaning, gather instinctively this, that, and the other - a sound, a colour, here a stress, there a pause - which the poet, knowing words to be meagre in comparison with ideas, has strewn about his page to evoke, when collected, a state of mind which neither words can express nor the reason explain...In health meaning has encroached upon sound. Our intelligence domineers over our senses. But in illness, with the police off duty...words give out their scent and distil their flavour..Foreigners, to whom the tongue is strange, have us at a disadvantage."

Oh that we were all étrangèrement malade...

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