Sunday, March 18, 2007


"An Essay on Writing and Meaning" by Robert Bringhurst (Gaspereau Press MMIV)

"Drop a word in the ocean of meaning and concentric ripples form. To define a single word means to try to catch those ripples. No one's hands are fast enough. Now drop two or three words in at once. Interference patterns form, reinforcing one another here and canceling each other there. To catch the meaning of the words is not to catch the ripples that they cause; it is to catch the interaction of those ripples. This is what it means to listen; this is what it means to read. It is incredibly complex, yet humans do it every day, and very often laugh and weep at the same time. Writing, by comparison, seems altogether simple, at least until you try."

Thus begins a chapbook length essay by the Canadian poet. Gaspereau Press is a publisher and printer located in Kentville, Nova Scotia. (

Reading this book is only 1/2 the experience. This book must be held in the hands to be fully appreciated. It is a tactile and visual experience as much as the intellectual feat of reading.

The forms of script we use to represent language. It's not something we think about often--or enough. This book is a beautiful introduction to meditation on this deep and fascinating subject.


Blogger john hanson said...

it sounds fascinating

i like the image of dropping a pebble in a pond

as metaphor

the word as pebble

our minds move naturally
to context
the basic cognitive principle is
i believe

how would discussion of
linguistics with an african bushman

all writing should be engaged with a sense of caution

water is deceptive

guy debord is hard on the mind


2:27 PM  

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