Thinking without language?

Alexander Gross alexilen at sprynet.com
Sun Nov 21 00:26:14 EST 1999


For reasons best known to himself, one ken collins has chosen to
send his addendum to his recent message to Larisa to me personally
via email.  it reads in full as follows:

> thank you for posting your translation.

> i also listen to Andrea Bocelli, although i can't understand a
> word... i understand the heart-stuff. it's enough for me.

> cheers, ken collins

Thank you, Kenneth, for your honest reaction.

It would be rather surprising to hear Andrea Bocelli sing this aria,
since Cherubino is a "trousers role" for mezzos, though i gather he
gets away with almost anything.  i assume your knowledge of opera
also permits you to understand this as well and that you have no
problem with the delightful sexual ambivalence involved if he were
to sing this aria to you.  That would certainly be the mature way of
looking at it.  :-)

Also, can't help wondering if your attitude towards translation is
typical of AI nat-lang people.  Could Bocelli, in his blind, egoist,
ignorant trajectory, possibly stand as a symbol for this entire
movement?  If so, you would also be missing out on what a famous
Roman said nineteen hundred years ago:

            At the same time, what they may miss in reading, they
            cannot avoid in translating.  From this process,
            intelligence and judgement are acquired.
                               --Pliny the Younger, 105 A.D.

Finally, would it bother you in the slightest to discover that you
have just revealed yourself as equally insensitive to both music and
to language/translation?

                                    ciao for now!
                                        alex
                                     






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