Sunday, February 13, 2011

de Sausurre

So, Clara (age 4) has led me to a new understanding of semiotics (concepts I remember of which are: word and thing word represents become indivisible; idea that perhaps thought is impossible without language). 

By waking me repeatedly in the night ("I'm itchy, Mummy!"  "Mummy, I need to pee!"  "Mummy, I'm scared there are ghosters!") and interrupting many dreams, Clara let me observe that in my dreams semiotics rupture: there IS thought outside of language.  That apple stem surrounded by yellow light?  It does not mean the word "apple" or "yellow"  or "stem" but rather evokes a more general emotion: apprehension, anxiety, discomfort.  That emotion is part of a sequence (a narrative of emotions)--all happening outside of my waking language. 
Sign, signifier and signified are not in concert.

Perhaps it's sleep deprivation, but today I find that revelation fascinating . . .  Maybe a nap is in order.

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