Unreal Nature

December 27, 2014

In Their Eternal Imprecision

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:59 am

… It is frightening to think how many things are made and unmade with words; … they have their life and we have ours.

This is from The Poet’s Guide to Life: The Wisdom of Rilke edited and translated by Ulrich Baer (2005):

… How dangerous and merciless is life up to the final moment, a well-tamed creature, and yet inside of it how many insatiable forces that threaten it like wild beasts.

[ … ]

… language is what all have in common, but which no single person has produced because all are continuously producing it, that vast, humming, and swinging syntax to which everyone feels free to add by speaking what is closest to his heart. And then it happens that someone who is different from his neighbors on the inside loses himself by speaking himself out like the rain that is lost in the sea. For everything that is unique to an individual if it does not wish to remain silent, needs its proper language.

… What one writes at the age of twenty-one is nothing but screaming — and does anyone consider whether a scream ought to have been screamed differently? Language is still so thin for us in those years that the scream passes through it and carries with it only what clings to it. One will always develop in a way that makes one’s language fuller, denser, firmer (heavier), and this of course makes sense only for someone who is sure that the scream in him also incessantly and inexorably gathers force so that later, compressed by countless atmospheres, it emerges evenly from all of the pores of the nearly impenetrable medium.

… It is frightening to think how many things are made and unmade with words; they are so far removed from us, trapped in their eternal imprecision, indifferent with regard to our most urgent needs; they recoil at the moment when we seize them; they have their life and we have ours.




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