Saturday, September 19, 2009

Time frames

Don't really know where the word abracadabra came from, but I have to wonder if the word is not the sterile remnant of a once lively trick: say you are trying to convey how circular and unilluminating the mechanical mind must be, on the level of words.

Art can offer a longer time frame than words. Say you are trying to convey the message, in the statue of Romulus and Remus, nursing on a wolf.The children are still totally meshed with the physical world. That is their strength, but they will go on to found a city. The wolf cannot know how different these pups are, ---but the wolf pack that builds a city, an empire, is a quantitative difference which becomes a qualitative difference.
If the stoic knowing in the face of that female wolf could be put into words, the words would quickly become drained of their usefulness. As a sculpture some remnant of the mystery is still extant: how the future can unfold in totally unpredictable ways.

But to progress words have their own value. Jan Cox once described them as fast food. The trick of the word 'abracadabra' is that it may have originated in an attempt to make words look at words. May once have really been a magic word: the first time it was uttered it lit the mechanicalness of verbalizing because it was a word withOUT a meaning. As a word the first time it was used, abracadabra showed the thinness of the ice that mechanical language is. To succeed at showing the hollowness of man's rational speech IS magic. This first, functional, phase, was very brief. As such must be. The glimpse of magic the word provided quickly became the impotent word: magic. With use abracadabra become the opposite of it's original import.

Life (words, that is) is brief. Art--not so much.

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