05 June 2008

Language as Body

Truly, the human being knows his language even less than he knows his body: the sentence may be compared to a body, which invites us to disarticulate it, in order that its true contents may be recomposed through an endless series of anagrams.
-Hans Bellmer (1954), quoted in Surrealism, Politics and Culture 263

[Hans Bellmer, The Doll]

In Vestibulum Technicum (1675), Mark Lewis describes language as a body, composed of interlocking parts:
Substantives as the bones, adjectives the flesh, nominatives the cranium, accusatives the torso -- because he wants language, however arbitrary the specific relationship between a signified and a signified, to represent naturally and completely 'what God works by nature'.
- Murray Cohen, Sensible Words 28

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