Losing Words - And Life

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Decay

When a writer gets a fatal brain tumor, it's one thing. When he gets one near the part of his brain that deals with language, his very words die as he does. This is a gripping tale of decline, and at times reads like the best poetry:

My experience of the world is not made less by lack of language but is essentially unchanged.

This is curious.

"Would it be imaginable that people should never speak an audible language, but should still say things to themselves in the imagination?" Ludwig Wittgenstein

One way, but not the other way, but sometimes in both ways.

Pure music I can do, narrative music I can't.

Film, I understand shape and colour but not story.

Poetry is still beautiful, taking me with it.

Pictures, I understand abstract but not story. But I can actually do much more still with pictures. This is my job.

My language works in ever decreasing circles. The whole of English richness is lost to me and I move fewer and fewer words around.

I cannot count. At all.

Marion and her embrace.

Ground, river and sea.

Eugene – his toys, his farm, his cars, his fishing game.

Getting quiet.

Names are going.

Writing, there is no voice.

Or, rather, writing is still there in its old form but it's gone quiet. It fluctuates and gets more difficult.

I can't understand what people say so clearly, what they mean, what they intend.

I can write, just about.

It's very difficult for me to talk at all (one way just hopes for sense and another way is total nonsense).

But all the same it's amazing what Marion can do, how it can still happen.

First of all it was scary; now it's all right; it is still, even now, interesting;

My true exit may be accompanied by no words at all, all gone.

The final thing. The illiterate. The dumb.

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2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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