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24571the nameless

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  • iambiguously
    Jan 30, 2004
      From Simon Critchley's "Very Little...Almost Nothing":

      "We cannot speak of that which we would like to speak...and yet we
      cannot not speak, blissful though this might seem: 'you must go on, I
      can't go on, I'll go on'. There is only this voice, this meaningless
      voice 'which prevents you from being nothing' and all it has are
      words 'and not many of them'. And even when Malone writes 'I am lost,
      not a word..or Krapp says 'Nothing to say, not a squeak', this is not
      yet silence, it is yet a word, a squeak."

      Yet lots and lots of things can be named, of course. And with a
      rather high degree of objectivity: rock, tree, mountain, gravity,
      molecule, arm, lightning, tornado, felatio, flute, rape, fetus, Iraq,
      Congress, dictionary.

      Most of the words we use from day to day, in fact, are merely
      understood to mean what they do and almost no one questions it. Nor
      should they. They simply describe what is.

      But there are also words that name only what we think they mean---and
      can never name more; words that can never be denoted objectively:
      freedom, justice, right, wrong, good, bad...truth...being and
      nothingness. In fact, many of the words used to discuss human moral
      and political interaction, emotional and psychological states,
      identity, aesthetics, ontology, teleology etc. really are just
      squeaks for all intents and purposes. Yet these, alas, are the most
      important words of all in venues like this one.


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