words are music as much as meanings

I want to write so that what I write and the way I write is me, because of the choice of words and the arrangement of the words, the way I combine them, group them together, orchestrate them. For me, words are music as well as – as much as – they are meanings.

Also, writing is different from talk. When people listen to talk they hear the speaker’s tone of voice. They look at the speaker’s eyes. They observe the movements of the speaker’s face and hands, which helps them to understand what the speaker means. The listener can question and reply and interrupt. The speaker can change her mind and say so, she can stop and start and huff and puff. And all this helps to make the meaning.

But in writing there is no voice to listen to, no eyes to exchange looks, no movements of the face and hands and body to assist the words. No interruptions are possible, no questions can be answered. There are only these strange shapes as old as Eve and as new as tomorrow’s baby, and to me they are beautiful and glorious.

I love the appearance of words on a page. I love their shape and the patterns they make. I feel them like pebbles in my mouth; I hear them like music in my head. When I write, they are like sculptures in my hand.


the above is an excerpt from the book “This Is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn”, which I am now currently reading and am absolutely fascinated by.

merry Christmas, my friends.

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