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Re: [existlist] Oceanic Differences (for Bill)

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  • Eliza Rodriguez
    I would say that the Oriental focus appears to be more objective and therefore more trascendental than our free lunacy where a rose turns into an apple and
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 31, 2005
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      I would say that the Oriental focus appears to be more objective and therefore more trascendental than our free lunacy where a rose turns into an apple and then turns into a running ostrich. I ask myself if the "advances" brought into the semantic thorugh the liberal expressions of the Romantics really have contributed to make us think clearer about the substance of life and of the ideas. At times I tend to feel that the culture is going into the direction of a total incoherence, where a rose never ends being a rose, and thus the coherence of language has gone lost, becuase we may have lost the trascendental letters in an alphabet that can't make sense.


      louise <hecubatoher@...> wrote: ~ What is the absolute name of the rose? The nearest I know to this
      ideal nomenclature is the Chinese ideogram that can trace its
      antecedents back to a picture. But you cannot utter an ideogram.
      Unless we concede that Adam was incapable of misnomers when he went
      out and christened all creatures and things, we are at liberty to
      dispute the whole appellative affair. Gertrude Stein's 'A rose is a
      rose is a rose is a rose' demonstrates to what a condition of
      desperation the mind can be driven in its determination to insist
      that Adam's terminology is, in fact, definitive. I am not, I regret
      to say, affirming that Adam spoke English. I am affirming the to-
      all-appearances sacred origins of language.
      When, many years ago, I was teaching in Japan, I had occasion to
      learn the curious fact that the Japanese intelligence does not
      encompass this faculty of metaphor. I think this inability explains
      the seemingly over-simple objectivity of Japanese poetry. It
      happened that I was speaking to the students of the Imperial
      University in Tokyo about Housman's verses *The chestnut casts its
      flambeaux*, when, after a considerable silence, one student, more
      thorough-minded than the rest, rose to his feet and said: 'The line
      is meaningless. Chestnut trees cannot throw torches away. They do
      not possess torches.' I said very slowly: 'The chestnut flower is
      like* a torch. It resembles* a torch.' The student, who was an
      honourable person, looked at me closely and replied: 'Mr. Barker,
      either the chestnut tree has torches or it does not have torches.
      Which is it?'
      I think, myself, that the Oriental imagination, if one is free to
      speak of such a fascinating monstrosity, has always been averse to
      the metaphorical or allegorical interpretation of things. ~

      George Barker.
      Extract from 'St. George and the Long-Snouted Allegory.'
      "Essays", MacGibbon & Kee, 1970.

      Well, I don't feel these borrowed words get me very far in
      attempting to continue, or should that be start, the work of
      communicating, with one's peers, whatever that word might be taken
      to signify. It's all debateable. It should be. That's my point.


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