Against Language: Dissatisfaction With Language: as Theme by Rosemarie Waldrop, Rosmarie Waldrop

By Rosemarie Waldrop, Rosmarie Waldrop

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30 I would question the exclusive stress on the subject-object relation. But it is certainly an important part of the tendency towards contiguity disorder, the tendency against clear grammatical articulation, towards the dominant single word, expressive in its wealth of unrestricted overtones. 31 D. SIMILARITY DISORDER When poets speak about the medium of language (and are not complaining) one often gets the impression that they are thinking primarily about the phonetic aspects of the word, its physical properties as it were.

What is always and everywhere? The subject is even announced by an indefinite article which, however, is not followed by the expected name but by a pronoun: "a this". Clearly, "this" is unsatisfactory. The text tries to define: "this is a" - again stopping short of the noun as it does in the following question: "what kind of a". The attempt at naming and defining has failed. Now begins a groping for a circumlocution, for something similar to the unnamed subject. To make the structure clearer I am inserting ellipses between the elements of the phrase: "as a t .

85 Werke, ed. " 89 Rilke considers words conventional to an even higher degree than the domesticated 'surfaces' of things. And he questions the 'world' that words give us. It may only be the weakest part of the world: Wir machen mit Worten und Fingerzeigen uns allmählich die Welt zu eigen, vielleicht ihren schwächsten, gefährlichsten T e i l . 9 0 Hofmannsthal stresses the elusiveness of things. With Rilke, 'things' are at least as oppressive as they are elusive. They pursue and enter man and make him part of themselves.

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