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
> _________________________________________________________________
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