Friday, January 23, 2009

when readers ask big questions...

footnote

well, been in wyoming for a week and finally broke the spell of the studio with a visit to the only used bookstore in sheridan. it's wasn't much to speak of, although enough good paperbacks to save a stranded reader's life.

digging around in the back i happened upon a book on sentence structure by noam chomsky, which the writers at the residency here figured must've been his graduate or phd thesis. i picked it up for the sentence diagrams, but bought it for the handwritten footnotes. this one in particular is what sold me on the book:

is something that is never said in the whole history of a language from beginning to end be said to be a sentence of that language? i can imagine any physical occurrence - does this effect the laws of physics? not a good analogy unless language must ultimately be defined behavioristically and can never be defined mechanistically - as a function of the human brain, that is.

kind of brings to mind the zen koan of the sound of one hand clapping or a falling tree sounding in a forest with no one to hear it...

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2 Comments:

Anonymous :: said...

.:

9:50 AM  
Blogger ArtSparker said...

The swans fled outward to remoter reaches
As if they knew of distant beaches
And were dissolved.

-Stevens, Description without Place

7:24 PM  

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