lexicon-scape is in flux – while making these word lists i have found it invariably enlightening, promoting a mode of questioning of the text you present yourself. i have begun expanding the focus of this exercise by looking at word patterns and descriptive formats alongside my current interest in individual words. there are some motives for this shift –
d e f i n i t i o n m i n i n g
the context of a word almost always implies the word’s meaning, exclusively from the etymology of that word.
l y r i c a l r h y t h m s
“man in his movement modifies the forms which surround him” | page 37 | inter-lyrical tools and literary expression are mostly hidden when focusing on one word. i want this lexicon-scape exercise to work harder.
i have been swooning over the phonetics of these singular words, sometimes over an exotic sound they produce, over a unique way they instruct your mouth [like a reverse conductor], or leaving the physical world; the associations these words recklessly conjure in our mind. the translation process entwines fluidly from printed word to every neuro-psycho-sense of the body e.g. memories and assimilations of smell and intrigue, light and texture, pain and all sorts of emotional trauma. now looking at a broader set of words and authors’ intent i feel some richer engagement with the poetry of the text can be read.
a r t i s t i c a r t i c u l a t i o n
“buckley was a freethinker, a fatalist and a defender of slavery” | page 40 | this uneasy triptych of attributes is so deliberate in its expressed, evocative juxtapositions; is this an art of adjacency?
some of these words are used by authors, for me, in unexpected ways. and for someone who is as intimidated by english language as i have been this is a welcoming, revolutionary idea – you can make the language work for you! you can bend and break perceived axioms of a language in favour of telling a story, appropriate to the story. language becomes an artistic exploration rather than a rigid, rule-based exercise.
d e s c r i p t i v e d e n s i t i e s
jorges luis borges was able to pack and unpack, layer and criss-cross prose. a personal, exciting thing is that i have encountered no other writer’s work that paces me like the stories contained within labyrinths.
notable moments in this story
“mirrors and copulation are abominable, because they increase the number of men”
“we discovered beneath its rigorous prose a fundamental vagueness”
“and all of it articulated, coherent, with no visible doctrinal intent or tone of parody”
“an infinite leibniz labouring away darkly and modestly”
“the world for them is not a concourse of objects in space; it is a heterogeneous series of independent acts. it is successive and temporal, not spatial”
“the sun and the water on the swimmer’s chest, the vague tremulous rose colour we see with our eyes closed, the sensation of being carried along by a river and also by sleep”
“another school declares that all time has already transpired and that our life is only the crepuscular and no doubt falsified and mutilated memory or reflection of an irrecoverable process”
“all men, in the vertiginous moment of coitus, are the same man. all men who repeat a line from shakespeare are william shakespeare”
“the concept of plagiarism does not exist : it has been established that all works are the creation of one author, who is atemporal and anonymous. the critics often invent authors : they select two dissimilar works – the tao te ching and the 1001 nights, say – attribute them to the same writer and then determine most scrupulously the psychology of this interesting homme de lettres”
“a book which does not contain its counterbook is considered incomplete”
“such was the intrusion of this fantastic world into the world of reality”
“this sensation of a very small and at the same time extremely heavy object produced a disagreeable impression of repugnance and fear”
*page numbers are references in the penguin modern classics edition of jorges luis borges book labyrinths