[lit-ideas] Re: You Don't Say!
- From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
- To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 10:22:47 -0400 (EDT)
Thrusting against the boundaries of speech... In a message dated 6/30/2012 8:06:46 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes: It is hard to put crisply why I do not agree with this: but two things (a) for W, the say/show distinction [as reflected in the 'key tenet'] is not "pertaining to meta-philosophy" but is to be found everywhere we have language for language never says its own sense (b) (which may be 'the same or similar point' per W) the say/show distinction concerns or pertains to the "limits of language" - including the "limits of language" as a tool for investigating or giving an account of itself. This may help as we put forward the discussion: Masocriticism - Risultati da Google Libri -- books.google.com/books?isbn=079144032X...Paul Mann - 1999 - Literary Collections - 312 pagine "ever tried to write or talk Ethics or Religion was to run against the boundaries of language." ... "Man has the urge to thrust against the limits of language." "thrust against" -- I like that. Witters uses the more literal, 'run against'. Note, incidentally, that "Grenze" is for one a Polish loan-word (the German speakers never returned it, incidentally). It seems Witters uses the expression twice: "the limits of my language are the limits of my world" -- sort of optimistic reading. "Man like to thrust against the boundaries of speech" -- sort of negativistic reading. In this letter (unsent, or was it opened) from LW to HPG, the point may have been the _point_ of lingo. For HPG, creatures (or critters) have developed language as an aid to survival. J. Bennett explores this in "Linguistic behaviour". It would be odd to think that, lingo, created by man as it is ("Man-made language") still is such that man feels like "running against" its limits. I identify this with some sort of scepticism on Wittgenstein's part. I'm trying to read the dictum by Witters _descriptively_ before indulging in the prescription. A prescriptivist implicature to the descriptivist dictum would be that it is useless to run against the boundaries of language (or run against the limits of Poland and Germany, say). For HPG, and indeed Humpty Dumpty, man (or egg) is the master (of lingo) -- "you only have to remember who is the master, that is all" -- Lewis Carroll) and it's very easy to find out that what Man THOUGHT was a boundary it was NOT. The issue of 'boundary' still does not illuminate much on the 'show' panorama. To stretch the metaphor, it may be as if HPG and LW are walking -- and they reach the "Boundary" of Lingo. Then, Witters assumes (in a sort of "Divina Commedia" to be properly illustrated by Delacroix) that nothing can be said, but Witters insists on SHOWING HPG the panorama that lies over the rainbow as it were. HPG declines the offer. What cannot be said cannot be shown either. Or never mind 'show' -- when all is said _and done_. Or something. Cheers, Speranza ------------------------------------------------------------------ To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off, digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html