Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Word on Words...

"Words are inert," she says, and inadequate to convey human experience. I ponder this and think, yes, to the extent that they are symbols, perhaps this is true. But in their representation as such, they stand for things that are alive, myriad, complex. Words therefore have value, not because they are perfect in their symbolization, but because they are the basis for our linguistic expression of these valuable things.

Beyond that, they are the building blocks, the raw medium, of literary art, as clay or bronze might be to a sculptor. What grows from them is completely dependent and contingent on the artist and her intention. Does the question of the reception of that art, how one sees or experiences it as perhaps different from that seminal intent, diminish its value? Only if we think that the only value of language, and therefore of literary art forms, is in the communication of something very specific.

When we broaden our sense of the value of words and thus the story, for example, to encompass a communion of sorts, then we see that their value is infinite. It is, as the woman in the film says, "what we live for."

1 comment:

  1. Kim, Love your post. Very inciteful and enlightening. Thought provoking. Thank you.

    Carra(Gloria Cope)