More about naming or defining things
Posted by Hil on February 06, 1998 at 18:38:01:
Ch. 43, talking about Oscar's piece of celluloid:
'When my father spoke of the scientific history of celluloid (which, having a diploma in industrial chemistry, he was entitled to do) she felt that he was contesting her ownership of its original use, its meaning, its history.
And she was right. When my father said 'long-chain hydro-carbon', he was saying: 'I am right. This one's mine'
But my mother would not let him have it. The celluloid was hers. The meaning of it was hers.'
'My mother would not hear him speak of it, and not because she was silly, but because she understood as women often do more easily than men, that the declared meaning of a spoken sentence is only its overcoat, and the real meaning lies underneath its scarves and buttons.'
This is a wonderful sentence. It is pure Carey - language, analogy, symbolism - and paradox, as it proves him an exception to the general rule he has just made!
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