Wednesday, December 29, 2010

“That for which we find words is something already dead in our hearts. There is always a kind of contempt in the act of speaking.”


I think he's saying that when we can find words to express emotion, we're performing-- it's not true anymore. What do you think?

Alicia, who says, "Jane Austen, eat my dust! And Sherlock, I'm coming for you!"


elfarmy17 said...

I was so inspired by this quote that I wrote my own post about it. Sorry. :)
Here's the link:

PJD said...

I see why you take it that way, but my first reaction was different: that when we can describe a thing, we have moved from experiencing it into analyzing it, thereby distancing ourselves from it and killing its magic. The poet who describes her moment among the willows on a pond shore in the summer is tearing apart her experience, abasing it with words, playing God in trying to create the experience for someone else, and thereby take credit for its magic rather than simply cherish it. (But what do I know? I was an engineering major, not a philosophy major. :-)

Edittorrent said...

Okay, Peter, that makes sense too.

Laura K. Curtis said...

I agree with Peter. However, it also reminds me powerfully of the Tao Te Ching in that it seems to be saying that true experience is beyond words, that if we put words to emotion/experience, we make it less than it truly is.

First chapter of the Tao Te Ching:

The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.

Robin Lemke said...

I feel the opposite - I think something becomes more real when we can put words to it.

Leona said...

I'm with Mystery Robin. Maybe he just needed a bigger vocabulary...