Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Penguins and therolinguistics

This summer I was reading a collection of short stories of Ursula K. LeGuin's that I'd been meaning to enjoy for some time, The Compass Rose, and my mind was doubly blown by the first story, first because it was fantasy about linguistics (interspecies literary studies, really), and second because it talked about the poetry of emperor penguins, and I'd just seen the March of the Penguins. The story's titled " 'The author of the acacia seeds', and other extracts from the Journal of the Association of Therolinguistics." I like the whole story, but here's the bit that I really felt showed LeGuin's amazing perceptiveness (and of course prose skills), decades before the IMAX Experience:

To those of my colleagues in whom the spirit of scientific curiosity and aesthetic risk is strong, I say, Imagine it: the ice, the scouring snow, the darkness, the ceaseless whine and scream of wind. In that black desolation a little band of poets crouches. They are starving; they will not eat for weeks. On the feet of each one, under the warm belly feathers, rests one large egg, thus preserved from the mortal touch of the ice. The poets cannot hear each other; they cannot see each other. They can only feel each other's warmth. That is their poetry, that is their art. Like all kinetic literatures, it is silent; unlike other kinetic literatures, it is all but immobile, ineffably subtle. The ruffling of a feather; the shifting of a wing; the touch, the slight, faint, warm touch of the one beside you. In unutterable, miserable, black solitude, the affirmation. In absence, presence. In death, life.

I read this right after seeing the MotP, and it really hit me like a ton of bricks. LeGuin, I think, expresses the stirring aspect of the penguins' story more elequently than the narration in the movie, which was full of (what felt to me like) Disneyfying talk of the power of love. Luckily they had all that amazing footage to offset it.

[You try spelling "Disneyfying"!]

6 Comments:

Blogger Luis said...

d-i-s-n-e-y-f-y-i-n-g

easy ;)

Fiction with linguistics in it is fun. I remember that Sherlock Holmes has comparative/historical philology as one of his hobbies, and in some of the stories he makes side remarks about a monograph he's working on about morphemes in some ancient language.

4:04 AM  
Blogger hh said...

Ha, copycat!

I struggled for a while with 'Disnifying' as an alternative, since I'm pretty sure I'd want to spell the resultative adjective as 'Disnified', rather than 'Disneyfied', I think maybe because of trisyllabic laxing or something. But it just isn't right.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Claire said...

Re Sherlock Holmes, unfortunately he's trying to show that Cornish is Semitic.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

徵信, 徵信網, 徵信社, 徵信社, 感情挽回, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 挽回感情, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信, 捉姦, 徵信公司, 通姦, 通姦罪, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 捉姦, 監聽, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 外遇問題, 徵信, 捉姦, 女人徵信, 女子徵信, 外遇問題, 女子徵信, 外遇, 徵信公司, 徵信網, 外遇蒐證, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 感情挽回, 挽回感情, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 外遇沖開, 抓姦, 女子徵信, 外遇蒐證, 外遇, 通姦, 通姦罪, 贍養費, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 女人徵信,

徵信, 徵信網, 徵信社, 徵信網, 外遇, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 女人徵信, 徵信社, 女人徵信社, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 女人徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信社,

徵信, 徵信社,徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 抓姦, 離婚, 外遇,離婚,

徵信社,徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信,徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社,徵信,徵信, 徵信, 外遇, 抓姦

7:18 PM  
Blogger game gold said...

After separate for one year, I can not leave you, leave Entropiauniverse ped . Now I buy Entropia Universe Gold again, I do not want to leave you, but at that time, I have no idea. Buy Entropia Universe Money
is the thing I want to do for long time. I know that cheap Entropiauniverse ped is your life. So I will try my best and do not let you pass away. In my mind, I think I Buy Entropia Universe Gold is the fate.

Without hesitate, I bought eve isk , in the game I can find myself. I feel lonely, but I do not want to talk with anyone, so I buy isk . At present, think the happy day I spend in knight, I am eager to enter it, and buy eve online isk . Own eve online isk , it means that you own the life of happiness. So I will not leave cheap eve isk . It is the origin of the happiness.

5:40 PM  
Blogger xuemei said...

Now do you worried about that in the game do not had enough cabal online alz to play the game, now you can not worried, my friend told me a website, in here you can buy a lot cabal alz and only spend a little money, do not hesitate, it was really, in here we had much cabal gold, we can sure that you will get the cabal money, quick to come here to buy cabal alz.

I like play online game, I also buy dofus kamas and kamas, the cheap kamas is very cheap, and use the dofus gold can buy many things, I like dofus kama, thanks, it is very good.

5:16 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home