After Sebald, In a Way

Perhaps not so much after him as before him, a long quote from Wittgenstein:

Do not be troubled by the fact that languages (2) and (8) consist only of orders. If you want to say that this shews them to be incomplete, ask yourself whether our language is complete; whether it was so before the symbolism of chemistry and the notation of the infintesimal calculus were incorporated into it; for these are, so to speak, suburbs of our language. (And how many houses or streets does it take before a town begins to be a town?) Our language may be seen as an ancient city: a maze of little streets and squares, of old and new houses, and of houses with additions from various periods; and this surrounded by a multitude of new boroughs with straight regular streets and uniform houses.

It becomes, perhaps, more and more difficult to become lost.


Popular Posts