Jun 292012
 

Not to speak your own mother tongue. To live with sounds, logics, that are separated from the nocturnal memory of the body, from the sweet-sour sleep of childhood. To carry within y ourself like a secret crypt or like a handicapped child—loved and useless—that language of once-upon-a-time that fades and won’t make up its mind to leave you ever. You learn to use another instruments, like expressing yourself in algebra or on the violin. You can become a virtuoso in this new artifice that provides you with a new body, just as false, sublimated—some would say sublime. You have the impression that the new language is your resurrection: a new skin, a new sex. But the illusion is torn apart when you listen to yourself—on a recorded tape, for example—and the melody of your won voice comes back to you in a bizarre way, from nowhere, closer to the grumble of hte past than to the [linguistic]code of today…. Thus, between two languages, your element is silence. —Julia Kristeva, quoted in Salman Akhtar, “Immigration and Identity: Turmoil, Treatment, and Transformation”

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