Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter


Day 350


I remember reading about structuralism,
de Saussure, and outdated notions about
how different parts of language fitted one
into the other to make meaning. Then turned
the pages to Chomsky, and how children had
these black boxes in their heads he called
Language Acquisition Devices that functioned
at their most efficient until they were seven
years old (Ignatius would have agreed had
they been contemporaries), and by then
polyglots and auto-didacts. Even the words
of this science had mouth-twisting qualities
the ancients could not have foreseen when
they thought their gods had called shapes
after their shape, and so allocated meaning.
I even read Plato’s Cratylus dialogue (in
translation), a dusty book from a dusty
library in the corner of a court not many
even found their way to except for secret
cigarettes after dinner in the centuries-old
hall full of portraits of past masters. In all
those moments and books and thoughts, I
never spent a second contemplating how
complex it would be, in later, but early, life,
to have to name something living that we
had created, and how all those theories and
shapes and ideas had possessed real meaning
after all.

R 16/12/2022, 21:27

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