Nancy, what I was objecting to was the implied equivalence in the original
statement. You are right, the set of conscious beings with a language is a
subset of the bigger set of all conscious beings. As far as culture goes,
I would say language is one thing and culture another, but the intersection
of language and culture is 'literature' (or 'verbal literature') since not
all language is literature and not all culture is literature, but all
literature is both language and culture. Poetry would be an even smaller
subset of literature: the intersection of language, culture, & sound of the
words themselves (like aliteration, assonance, etc) [inclusive-OR] the
intersection of language, culture, & mathematical patterns (like a sonnet,
rondeau, sestina, etc).
> [Original Message]
> From: Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: 8/29/2006 6:46:23 AM
> Subject: Re: Eliot, India and Translation
> You seem to identify language with the sound or production of words
> rather than the structure (grammar and syntax) that make them possible.
> If you understood words, you had language, rather you could produce
> it or not. It may well be that consciousness is not the same as language,
> but it is hard to see how there could be language without it, though
> their can be consciousness without words. But that does not seem to
> be what you describe here. There must be more to the definition.
> >>> robert meyer <[log in to unmask]> 08/29/06 3:18 AM >>>
> The statement "Language is not words, it is culture, it is even
> consciousness itself." does not bear out in my experience. After
> I came out of surgery for my stroke, I had consciousness but I
> could not speak; therefore language is NOT consciousness.
> After the surgery, my culture was not changed (I still preferred
> this music to that music, preferred this food to that food, et
> cetera) but I couldn't speak; therefore language is NOT culture.
> After the surgery I couldn't speak even one word (the medical
> term is 'aphasia'); therefore language IS words. I could
> understand the words which were spoken to me, but could
> not respond in words; so language is still equivalent to words
> and the grammar to use those words, whether the words are
> incoming or outgoing.
> > [Original Message]
> > From: Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > Date: 8/28/2006 3:04:28 PM
> > Subject: Re: Eliot, India and Translation
> > From: cr mittal :
> > I would love to share with you my admiration for some of
> > the translations into English of the Bhagavad Gita -- these
> > almost reproduce the tone, the texture, and the meaning into
> > English to an incredible degree. And yet, there are many
> > many expressions in the original that defy easy translation.
> > =======================================
> > Then there would be the unconscious nuances of which you
> > might not be aware, but without which the original would not
> > work well, and which would in no way find equivalence in
> > English unconscious nuances.
> > Language is not words, it is culture, it is even consciousness
> > itself.
> > P.