Distribution Automatique

Wednesday, June 23

notebook: 12/3/86

Perhaps the most characteristic illusion- and it is
an "optical" illusion- of 19th Century literature
is that sentences in a narrative are accumulative.
The parallel illusion in speech is that words in a
spoken series of sentences are accumulative.
Intersubjective "cuing" belies this apparently
orderly progression.

The structure- even the shape of books- has
contributed to the commonly held assumption
that thought and speech are parallel in a linear
way. LIke other bodily processes, thought makes
its demands and alters the attentional process
in staccato, spasmodic ways. Again, the evolution
of musical forms may tell us more about such
transformations over time, in the socious, than
narrative literature is able to. Compare the way
thought relates to a Webern work and the way it relates
to a work by J.S. Bach. LIke poetry, music draws
attention to altered relationships between thought,
the body, and the world.