Eagleton: Which Came First: The Word or The Speaker

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"To be able to transmit a message at all, he or she must already be caught up in and constituted by language.  In the beginning was the Word" (Eagleton 98).

This passage sounds an awful like the chicken and the egg argument.  I hope I don't need to point out that there is no answer to this kind of illogic.  I would have to agree with Levi-Strauss' idea that language "...must have been born at a stroke" (Eagleton 98), because there is no slow moving idea that in my mind at least makes sense in any other formation of language.  I immediately got a picture of two cave men in my head when I read this section.  They are perched on the edge of a field in which great Wooley Mammoths are grazing.  They both speak the same grunt at the same time, surprised they look at one another and realize they just gave this animal a name.

2 Comments

Bethany Merryman said:

I really like your cave man image you use. And I agree who's to decide these things? Most of what we know is unexplainable...why is blue, blue? Ohhh the questions I could think up that have NO answer whatsoever.

I enjoyed that image of the two cavemen. I think it rounded out the point you are making, in your entry, nicely. Who is to say and make the definitive decisions?

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