Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Babel or Babble?

The Tower of Babel by Peter Bruegel the Elder

The Tower of Babel is naturally a metaphor for contention. The world is at war since human beings speak different languages. It’s something deconstuctionists underscore with the notion of  "cultural subjectivity," ie the idea that nobody can speak for anybody else or make the kind of synthetic a priori statements, which are the gist of Kant's “categorical imperative.” Esperanto was an attempt to create a universal language—that essentially failed. Who knows exactly why? But one might assume that there was little of the backstory which accounts for indigenous grammatical structures. Ironically Trump’s "Big Lie" develops right out of this kind of thinking that sows doubt about the possibility of communication. How can vote tallies be verified, when competing constituencies fail to share the similar outlook and values? One of the great crises of modern culture both on the left and right is that of language. How is it possible to create bridges between a plethora of wagging tongues?

read "Why Big German Words Like Vergangenbangenheit Carry Weight?" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to "What a Wonderful World"by Sam Cooke

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.