THE LIMITS OF LANGUAGE.

Jonathon Delacour has an entry today featuring an extended quote (with a still) from one of my favorite scenes in all of cinema, the cafe scene from Godard’s 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d’elle. If the idea of a ruminative philosophical meditation spoken over a close-up of a cup of coffee with cream being stirred into it strikes you as too silly for words, don’t bother, but if you find it intriguing, follow the link and read it—and then go rent the movie. You won’t regret it.
A couple of excerpts involving language:

Perhaps an object like this will make it possible to link up… to move from one subject to another, from living in society, to being together. But then, since social relationships are always ambiguous, since my thought is only a unit, since my thoughts create rifts as much as they unite, since my words establish contacts by being spoken and create isolation by remaining unspoken, since an immense moat separates the subjective certitude that I have for myself from the objective reality that I represent to others, since I never stop finding myself guilty even though I feel I am innocent….
… We could say that the limits of language are the limits of the world… that the limits of my language are the limits of my world. And in that respect, whatever I say must limit the world, must make it finite.

That quote about “the limits of language” is, as Jonathon notes, from Wittgenstein; in general, Godard is a tissue of quotations and references, and I dearly wish someone with the requisite knowledge of philosophy, cinema, and French and world literature would go to the (immense) trouble of annotating all of his movies. Until then, at least there’s this pioneering effort by Alfred Guzzetti.

Comments

  1. This is goddamned gorgeous. Thank you. It absolutely brightened up my whole day.

  2. Niccceee pagee

  3. Got to say this latest spam wave is odd. What’s with the no URLs?

  4. Yeah, very bizarre.

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