7.22.2003

[97,98] Somewhere Raymond Carver wrote a line about awakening and thinking those things that pass as thoughts in the morning. There is a cacophony in my head. Ideas, images, flashes of memory, and other forms of noise resist concentration and focus. And then I begin to write. The sensation is not one of translation from what is going on under my hat and behind my glasses to the linearity of the page. There is something of a disconnect. Wittgenstein wants us to see the connection. He opens 97 with the statement that could be gleaned from his Tractatus: "Thought is surrounded by a halo." As good heliotropes we turn inward for illumination. Our hope is that in thought the essence of language is revealed. The language of thought is pre-Babelian. It is the universal grammar; the one behind the plurality of ordinary languages; the perfect order beneath surface disorder. To fulfill this hope we remove thought from the particular language-game in which it is used. But what is the language-game that Carver was talking about? Morning thoughts seem liberated from constraints. That float about and intermingle incongruously. Where are the parameters that should separate thoughts about all I must do today from thoughts and images of sex, a growing desire for more coffee, and an underlying anxiety about how badly writing has been going these past few weeks?
In 97 and 98, Wittgenstein chides us (philosophers and morning thinkers) for seeking a super order beneath or superior to the order of "even the vaguest sentence." In pursuing an ideal language or essence to language, we miss the order achieved somehow despite the playfulness at language's surface(s). And there is only surface.

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