August 22, 2005

Language

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French is the most beautiful language. Anything you might want to say automatically sounds better when spoken in French. One sentence in English equals at least two sentences in French. Everything is not only longer, but also more beautiful.

French is the language we use to clarify and illuminate sentiment. It’s delicacy reveals what the rough-hewn edges of English do not.

Language destroys what it creates, is inhuman, makes true intimacy impossible, separates us more ferociously than the crumbled stone edifice of the Berlin wall. But within the humble clemency of the French tongue all is forgiven.

Politics is a disciple of language. Legal documents form a literature within which it is possible to destroy peoples lives in a much more concrete manner than the great romantic poets had even imagined. But every word one writes has consequences. And it is no coincidence that so many of the great works of literature and philosophy were originally formulated in French.

And when Europe becomes the most violent bloodbath that the millennium has yet to experience, as seems likely within the next hundred years, it is even more likely that the epitaph for the millions of mutilated and dead will be written within the supple intonations and tonalities of the ancient yet incalculable French language.

Personally I do not speak, read or understand a single word of French. I am speaking only hypothetically.

Near the end of his life Rainer Maria Rilke switched from German to French for the following reason: in German there is no word for absence which also implies presence and fulfilment. In German, absence is only emptiness...





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1 comment:

Doctor Pants said...

is it possible that you live in Quebec and don't speak French? And is it possible that Spanish is pretty cool too? I mean c'mon man. Those Mexicans gave us tacos and flan..

And this whole violent bloodbath thing.. could you elaborate? I thought the violent bloodbath thing would start in North America. I'm really getting tired of moving to avoid violent bloodbaths.