Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

The Life and Death of Symbols. (Retrospect)

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

The Life and Death of Symbols. (Retrospect)

Article excerpt

Dear Hayakawa: ... Do you know Tolstoy's diary -- where he says that he sits for along time trying to find out exactly what he feels about something and gets so tired of it that he wants to get up and go away and have a woman -- but he knows that this is just what he must not do. For it is his duty to find out exactly what he feels and put it down. (I quote from memory and not accurately.) Now this is the experience of every artist -- and the interesting point is that one can compare the symbol when one finds it with the "something" in one's sensuous memory -- and either accept or reject it. The something stands for comparison.

Another fact showing that the soul can work without words is that one often looks for a word that doesn't exist. I am always hunting for such words and being surprised (when I have hunted in my Roget, etc. …

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