In lonely basements and drafty attics on park benches and noisy coffee shops people are at it, they are writing. People have been writing down there thoughts for ever and I must say I do enjoy reading about the lives of such people. Often incredible tales of loves gained and lost, of hardships and near miraculous recovery and behind them they leave huge literary gifts. Never has it been so easy to read about the lives of writers. Jorge Luis Borges for example, an Argentine writer who wrote this:
“It is often forgotten that (dictionaries) are artificial repositories, put together well after the languages they define. The roots of language are irrational and of a magical nature.”
-Jorge Luis Borges, Prologue to “El otro, el mismo.”
I came across the above quote having followed a link given me by one of the monks who is keen on words, that’s Etymology. The Online Etymology Dictionary is a real gem for those who are interested in exploring the roots of our language…which are irrational and of a magical nature.
4 thoughts on “Irrational and of a Magical Nature”
Please excuse me forsending you a comment from the middle of nowhere. I’m also a blogger on Google.
Today, I was thinking about me writing in English, which is totally a foreign language to me. Since I am a Japanese, I never think in English, nor dream in English. I often doubt whether my writing communites something meaningful. However, I sometimes find it easier to write in English than in Japanese. After all, however, what I wanted to communicate and always want to express is something behind the words which are irrational and of a magical nature, so it doesn’t matter whether the language is English or Japanese. Sometimes a silence tells more than words as you know pretty well. Thank you for the posting!
Hello Reverend Mugo
I hope you are well and happy. You may be interested in a quartet of books entitled ‘The masks of God’ by Joseph Campbell.
Thanks Ralph, I looked up Joseph Campbell in Wikipedia and he looks like another of those writerly people who leave you gasping. I’ll probably not get to read the books though. I have trouble enough doing the reading I really NEED to do.
Thank you to silent_dream from Japan. So very nice to hear from you. Yes, words can only point, they are not the thing itself. That goes for anything one attempts to describe, profound or otherwise. Still, we do our best in what ever language we happen to be familiar with.
The collected fictions of Borges is one of the books that has a permanent place next to my bed.