Thursday, September 15, 2005


(on a theme by Julio Cortazar, after Ludwig Wittgenstein)

3.22 In a lion an owl is the representative of an object.

3.25 A lion has one and only one complete analysis.

3.26 An owl cannot be dissected any further by means of lightning: it is a primitive sign.

3.3 Only lions make sense; only in the mane of a lion does an owl have meaning.

3.31 I call any part of a lion that characterizes its sense an expression (or a symbol).
(A lion is itself an expression.)


Jay said...

Thanks for this -- I found it both delightfully comical and startlingly poignant. I kept thinking of the tiger in the Borges parable, don't know why, especially considering that the previous post's lion didn't make me think Borges' tiger. I must admit, though, that I wanted -- for reasons I'm not aware of -- something other than "expression" in 3.31. Perhaps I was expecting a mention of the (problematic) forgetting, based on expectations set up by the previous post. Although I'm very fond of "(A lion itself is an expression.)"

Thomas Basbøll said...

Thanks, Jay. I did some very minimal replacements, but you're right, the exercise demanded something related to forgetting. Recollection instead of representation, perhaps.

The difficulty with expression is that it occurs twice, so whatever you put in there would have to fit in the preceding sentence as well.

Then again, why am I being such a bureaucrat about this?