The Complexities of Even Simple Language

Samuel R. Delany
Mad Man

Thought is part of language. But everything we perceive, either through our senses, or through our bodily feelings, or through sitting in the dark with our eyes closed, remembering or thinking or figuring, is the linguistic signified. The whole range of human perceptions, of subject and object, is the “meaning” part of language. So a thought doesn’t come “without words.” It comes first as simple language –– simple meanings, if you will. Then, what we call “thinking about it” is just the arrival of more complex language that elaborates on it –– that’s all. Once the elaborated language has come, we remember the simpler language as somehow prelinguistic. But it isn’t.

And so for day 3140

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