Tuesday, 2 June 2009

A life-long love affair.




I find this rather beautiful:

On the one hand, I believe that all of literature is implicit in language and that literature itself is merely the permutation of a finite set of elements and functions. But surely literature is constantly straining to escape from the bonds of this finite quantity, surely literature is constantly struggling to say something it does not know how to say, something that cannot be said, something it does not know, something that cannot be known? One can say of something that it cannot be known as long as the words and the concepts for saying and thinking it have not yet been used in that particular juxtaposition, as long as they have not yet been arranged in that particular order, in that particular sense. The whole struggle of literature is in fact an effort to escape from the confines of language. Literature reaches forth from the extreme edge of the effable. It is the demand made by that which no dictionary contains which stimulates literature.
(Italo Calvino, "Myth in the Narrative")

I feel a personal paradigm shift coming on.
I want an infinite collection of awesome.

5 comments:

Alessandra said...

GOD BLESS YOU FOR CITING MY GURU, ONE OF MY FAAAVE WRITERS AND MEN OF ALL TIIME!

xxxxxxxxxxxx

K said...

saying the same thing in a scientific way: http://sukzessiv.net/~kevin/lit.png

duh. the more you say the less it means, cf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Library_of_Babel

oh_pestilence said...

@k: That's really just the first sentence, isn't it?

K said...

nope, the rest is just insubstantial ornate gibberish repeating that message over and over again (and thus being ironically self-fulfilling)!

or maybe he just didn't realise that the "finite set of elements and functions" is applied recursively, thus undermining his whole "excaping from the bonds of this finite quantity" argument. his proposal of "something that cannot be known" is instantly contradicted by claiming that a sequence of words describing this very thing exists?

K said...

checked the wikipedia-thingy?