Respectfully, I disagree. Words at their best are portmanteaus of connotation in culture and history. When they lose that incultured scheme of associations they become the merely utilitarian devices you suggest -- as Latin and Latinate words have become outside of the Catholic Church. The problem is doubly difficult in jumping a large language/culture barrier as between English and Japanese and their respective schemes of assocations. ...
Well, as I said, our respective standpoints appear to be different. However, I did not make the general suggestion that words are merely utilitarian devices, as you appear to think. With a language like Japanese, where the writing is unusually complex, the words are indeed an 'incultured scheme of associations'. I said that the words on the page were, had to be, starting points. With the Asahi
newspaper report the words on the page, difficult as they were to understand, were sufficient for a general grasp of the story.
Of course, if I wanted to compare the objectivity and reporting styles of the Asahi Shinbun
, compared with, say, the Yomiuri Shinbun
, then the reporter's emphasis and choice of words would be highly relevant.
That is a sadly narrow view of the poetic universe. Surely, there is broader middle path between the confines of your teacher and Derrida. ...
I am confused. Whose view do you mean here? Richards' view, my teacher's view, or my view?
Richards compared Milton with a nonsense verse that sounded very similar and asked his readers what exactly Milton had that the other lacked.
My teacher, who is an established Japanese scholar in English & Japanese literature, thought that Richards was implying more than he wrote, i.e., that the words on the page, though very odd, were another example of 'an incultured scheme of associations' and asked me to explain the scheme.
As for my view, I think you cannot gauge my view of the poetic universe from my posts in this thread