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Sorry, I don't know why I wrote "spoken English" in my previous message. My bad. Diana



 
Nancy, I should have written "more pronounced German elements in English." That's an unintended pun! Middle English shows its German origins more than modern English.> Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2008 11:21:10 -0400> From: [log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: "Zietgeist" (Was Inventions of the March Hare )> To: [log in to unmask]> > I'm not sure what you mean by "the elements of German in daily speech,"> but that is misleading here. The ballad is in Scots, which developed> from Northumbrian. Modern English developed from Mercian. Both have> elements of German, and in Scots the sound changes developed later and> less completely than in modern English. But words like "milk," "house,"> "glass," "wine" remain cognates in English and German. My point is that> this is not English with some "elements of German": it is Scots with> some sounds and words that are Germanic--since all Anglo-Saxon was a> Germanic language. Modern Scots retains, for example, three sounds that> do not exist in modern English: the sounds of "licht," "loch" and> "muir."> Nancy> >>> Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> 03/20/08 10:44 AM >>>> > > Carrol,> > Language enacts the history of its time; it's a time capsule. It> provides more information than was recognized by the writer. Just as> when a snapshot is taken, neither the subjects nor the photographer> could know how strange hairstyles and clothing and the 1938 Ford will> look to those looking at the picture in the future.> > "THE king sits in Dumferling toune,> Drinking the blude-reid wine:> ‘O whar will I get guid sailor,> To sail this schip of mine?’> > Up and spak an eldern knicht,> Sat at the kings richt kne:> ‘Sir Patrick Spence is the best sailor> That sails upon the se.’"> > Sailing ships, knights, the king, the smallness of a world in which the> best sailors were well-known, and many other factors of the culture of> that time, not the least of which are the elements of German in daily> speech, are communicated in just first stanzas from "Sir Patrick Spens."> > Another ballad, having the same deep structure of describing a hero, is> the following:> > "Born on a mountain top in Tennessee,> Greenest state in the land of the free.> Raised in the woods so's he knew every tree,> Killed him a b'ar when he was only three.> Davy, Davy Crockett> King of the Wild Frontier."> > "West Side Story" and Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" tell the same> story of lovers facing the same obstacles, in other words they have the> same deep structure. Everything else is zeitgeist.> > The I Ching is based on the metaphysical belief that "everything that> occurs in a moment partakes of that moment." Whether you share that> belief or not, you cannot deny that language incorporates its historical> period. Or, to put it another way, history is inseparable from language.> > I regret using the word "zeitgeist;" it invites ridicule. No one uses it> anymore, but it does say what I mean:> > American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition:> Zeitgeist "The general moral, intellectual, and cultural climate of an> era; Zeitgeist is German for "time-spirit." For example, the Zeitgeist> of England in the Victorian period included a belief in industrial> progress, and the Zeitgeist of the 1980s in the United States was a> belief in the power of money and the many ways in which to spend it."> > Analyzing a work of art for a manifest point-to-point correspondence> with events such as the storming of the winter palace, or the general> strike or lynchings in the south ignores the condensation found in the> language of art. Even the most linear thinker has dreams in which> logical connections are replaced by simultaneity in time. > > Julia Kristeva writes in Language The Unknown that dreams act "like the> painter who, in a picture of the school of Athens or of Parnassus,> represents in one group all the philosphers or all the poets. It is true> that they were never in fact assembled in a single hall or on a single> mountaintop; but they certainly form a group...."> > Whether Eliot placed any credence in Freudian theory or not, if Freud> was correct about the similarity of art language and dream language,> Eliot's poetry would exhibit Freudian insights (birds are not> ornithologists.)> > Freud wrote: "Dreams are brief, meagre and laconic in comparison with> the range and wealth of the dream-thoughts." The extreme dream-symbols parallels that of literary symbols, which likewise are> over-determined and represent in a single symbol contents that "are> often widely divergent in their nature."> > So that lynchings in the south may be expressed in a multi-valent symbol> or image whose ostensible referent is not slavery but which is partly> determined by the existence of lyncings in the south. > > Van Gogh's dreams, like his paintings, would necessarily include horses,> carriages, gas lamps and absinthe, while a painter in our time would> dream and paint out of an experience of orbiting spy satellites, video> games, cell phones and computers. Both dreams might have the same deep> content, i.e., tell the same story, but the zeitgeist in both cases> finds ways to have its say.> > Diana> > > Diana Manister wrote:> > > > At least in TWL the zeitgeist speaks.> > Carrol wrote:> > 1. I would challenge the existence of any such entity> as the> "Zeitgeist." Any age I know of exhibits too large a variety of> fractured> spirits to speak of _A_ spirit of the age. Put otherwise, I> don't even> know what "spirit of the age" could conceivably mean. It> seems utterly> empty of content.> > 2. Eliot did explicitly deny that> TWL expressed some spirit of> disillusinment of the age or something> like that. Nancy or Marcia could> probably be more explicit on this,> citing the text and correcting my> sloppiness here.> > 3. What does The> Zeitgeist say? Storming of the Winter Palace? The> General Strike?> Lynchings in the South? (TWL follows by only a couple> decades Twain's> masterpieces, "The United States of Lyncherdom" and "To> The Person> Sitting in Darkness." The resignation, protesting Wilson's> War Policy,> of William Jennings Bryan: that is his true heritage, not> the stupid> trial? My great uncle, who organized sheepherders in Montana> for the> IWW. Beginning of the (hopeless?) struggle to end English 1 (its>> inventor called it the greatest mistake of his life)? The murder of> Rosa> Luxemberg? The Easter Rebellion? The failure to hang the various> war> criminals (all responsible politicians of Germany, France, England,> &> U.S.) Imprisonment of Gene Debs? Freeing of Gene Debs by the only> honest> u.s. president in the 205h c. -- Warren G. Harding?> > 4. When> did this Zeitgeist leap into existence, and when did it sink> into the> grave? Would we recognize it were we to meet it walking down a> dark> alley?> > And so forth.> > Carrol> _________________________________________________________________> How well do you know your celebrity gossip?> http://originals.msn.com/thebigdebate?ocid=T002MSN03N0707A



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