Friday, 3 July 2009

A First Line

All I need is a first line and the rest is sure, or at least likely, to follow. But without that first line nothing can follow. You can't do without it. Though you could argue that the second line is also paramount, for without it you won't get a third and so on. But without the first you wouldn't have gotten the second in the first place, so the first is still the key, and without the second you'd still at least have a first, whereas without the first you'd be void of anything. Though mightn't this all seem a bit coarse, utilitarian?: the linguistic structures of sentences being reduced to their importance and function within chronological systems. But noone here is making such reductionist claims. Chronology may be an aspect of these sentences being, but a kind of abstract one and not their essence.

What is the essence of this sentence, for example? Not its place within a sequence surely- that's nothing to do with the concrete sentence itself, even though it itself is a sequence: of words one after the other. But again this idea of the sequence is a set of values coming from without, an external intellectual lens refracting the sentence into something else altogether, reducing it to, or defining it as, a place in a system, within which system it supposedly has its 'meaning,' its whole essence, and ignoring it in the concrete of its own words and what they signify. But what do they signify? Well, we could transpose this significance of the words into some other linguistic structure- instead of: "What is the essence of this sentence, for example?" replace with: "What is the pure meaning of this sentence, for instance?" and say that this is what the words meant, but then you could do the same with those words- replace them with other words, and so on ad finitum.

No, ultimately the words mean some internal process in the mind which cannot be reduced to anything else, otherwise for some bizarre reason we're trying to eliminate a mind from an experience which is entirely of the mind. And even the notion of the sentence being refracted into an element of some intellectual system, chronology or some such; in fact no refraction is going on at all, for the sentence isn't being refracted or changed in any way. It remains just as it it, for no matter how much 'refracting', placing it within other systems you do, if your eyes go back up the page or screen you'll find it just as it was, not refracted at all, and so all the refractions are simply other sentences masquerading as these refractions, but are in truth simply themselves; not truthful approximations of these other things at all, but, like those other things, just themselves.

So all I need apparently, or so claimed, is a first line and things will progress from there. Some matter will inevitably be furnished, ushered forth, given the nature of the mind involved, cause and effect, etc. And, yes, a first line did indeed usher forth some great spillage or other, but is the 'ushering forth' a tad misleading? Suggests perhaps the erroneous idea of all that followed somehow predetermined by, all somehow contained within that first line? It seems to me I could quite easily have written utterly different things in the following of that first line.

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