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Reasoning why - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
komos
komos
Reasoning why
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komos From: komos Date: January 17th, 2003 08:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I was actually only delving into translation in the sense of putting something into the words of another language, though I think the same idea may be applicable to the problem you’ve suggested. The reality is that it is never possible to fully communicate your ideas, your feelings, or your experiences. Still, I tend to think that all higher order thought is dependent on symbols. These symbols may vary greatly, but communication takes the form of expressing symbols that you have in common with your audience. From the same essay:

The earliest orderly thinkers of whom we have any record were aware that they could not think or speak with any precision unless they could first agree upon the terms they were using.

This discussion is possible because we both see characters of the Roman alphabet forming words in a language we share, and additionally because where you believe that language was insufficient alone, you were able to rely on metaphor which you could reasonably expect to hold meaning to me. You were able to talk about words being "twigs in a stream," the poet being capable of a kind of "Frogger" approach to her use of language, or the sage contemplating "the fish swimming below the surface." Similarly, I could do an ink-brush rendering of a plum blossom, and others who have similar experience with that symbols or similar training in its use would understand the idea or experience I was trying to convey. I believe that symbols extend far outside of the realm of language, and nearly every form of expression that’s been explored by humankind is driven by a desire to communicate.

What I find fascinating is that it is when this exchange of symbols is complete enough and complex enough to sufficiently convey an expression of what was believed to be ineffable. This, I think, is where communication is elevated into the realm of art.
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