Saturday, July 16, 2005

The blessing and closure of language.

I was having a late night (or rather, an early morning) chat with two editors, Takeshi Masuda of Chikuma Shobo, and Kanako Oshima of Gentosha. Chikuma and Gentosha are major publishing houses in Tokyo, and they are both editing my book. At around 2.00 a.m. and after several glasses of beer, I suddenly hit upon an idea that the language game concept of Ludwig Wittgenstein might have relevance to the problem that I have been thinking a lot about recently, i.e., the blessing and closure that the faculty of language bestows on us.
Language makes it possible for us to communicate with each other. At the same time, it forms a closure for those who do not understand that particular language. What I write here does not make any sense for people who do not speak English. If I write in Japanese (which I do a lot) a larger number of people do not have access to the contents.
Isn't language frightening, when you consider both the blessings and closure that it brings. When there was no language, there was no breaking of symmetry. Once there is language, symmetry is lost and you have both blessings and closure. You open your eyes to many people, yet at the same time your mind is closed to others. I am growingly concerned about my own language policy, that's why I write my diary both in English and Japanese, hoping something would happen in my brain to appease the situation.

My diary in Japanese
http://kenmogi.cocolog-nifty.com/qualia/

8 comments:

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Blog World said...

The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern.
Lord Acton- Posters.

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砂山鉄夫(Tetsu Sunayama) said...

I might be able to say we study enigmas in the world by your blog both in English and Japanese.

Both blogs include art, science, literature, music, linguistic philosohy and so on so forth...