Peter Rose: Witness

Babel

URGENTLY IS IT SO MUCH THE BEING FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND IMPORTANT IS IT WHAT IF YOU UNDERSTAND THE SAYING OF WHICH I AM UNDERSTANDING YOU ARE MOST OF MUST OF DIFFICULTLY IS I KNOWING OF IT SURVIVAL OF US OF OUR SURVIVAL IS HERE BEING TO DEPEND ON UNDERSTANDING ME

from the conclusion to Babel

It was then that I understood the immensity of the catastrophe that was upon us. For in our zeal to claim the nature of all things as the convective material for our incessant, deafening discourse; in that vast ventriloquism by which the mute universe appeared to speak in our own stuttering tongues, we had all unknowingly animated an inexorable process of revolt.

The vast and tangled web of names by which we knew the world, our words, the letters in our letters, the vibrations of our voices, the very ferric materials of our disembodies speech were now in complicitous rebellion against us as language itself began to assert a co-equal claim to the authorship of meaning.

The transparency of our images was at an end; the grammar of our thought evaded all the laws of logic and the shapes on our maps refused every call to clarity. Far-off and within the tumult of the ether, electro-magnetc waves began to exhibit the authentic signs of a radical will, and a manifesto was heard, delivered in a chilling parody of our own struggling voices.

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