Word (Nick Flynn)
O.E. word—the book is made up of words, just as the body is made up of atoms—this means that each book must have a pulse in order to exist.
LATIN verbum—it is sometimes a verb, meaning it contains more energy than substance, more dream than event, contains both the energy of a noun and the weightlessness of an abstraction—no, I mean the uncountable weight of dark matter.
O.F. le mot—a handful is all we are given, no more, we use the same few over and over, yet it is undetermined whether each is invented or discovered.
SP, la palabra (rhymes with candelabra)—each is made of sound, that is, to see it is to hear it, just as when a fire ant bites your ankle the words fire ant instantly come to your lips, even if until that moment you had no idea of fire ants. Now you know, & simultaneously now you know the word.
IT le parole is a promise, as in, Give me your word you will come back.
GER wort is the word which ends every conversation (see period).
It is said that the first book (c.400BC) was written in an attempt to contain every word in the universe—it is also said that this book is still being written. In the beginning was the word, which presents the paradox of whether they are infinite or one, or whether each book is simply one long sound, or whether each word fell from the stars like each atom. We think the word is a tool to contemplate the universe, but it is more of an element, dimly understood. All we are given, all we have, to understand each word, is other words, a chain we have been pulling up from the bottom of a dark lake, all these years—as each reaches the air we hear it, but it is part of the word that came before it, and so meaningless on its own, much like we are, meaningless on our own. You can surround yourself with them, make a cage of them, and only in this way will you discover silence. And only silence is perfect.
Pour citer cette ressource :
Nick Flynn, "Word (Nick Flynn)", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), avril 2014. Consulté le 01/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/litterature/entretiens-et-textes-inedits/word-nick-flynn-