The READIN Family Album
Me and Sylvia on the canal in Qibao (April 2011)


Jeremy's journal

Listen, this process called poetry is an exercise in imagining memory, and then having that memory snare and cherish imagination.

Breyten Breytenbach

(This is a subset of my posts)
Front page
More posts about Readings

Archives index
Subscribe to RSS

This page renders best in Firefox (or Safari, or Chrome)

🦋 Speech is its Delight and Essence

We do not understand speech, because speech does not understand itself, nor wish to; the true Sanskrit* would speak in order to speak, because speech is its delight and essence.

This line is from Novalis' The Novices of Sais, newly reprinted in a translation by Ralph Manheim. (Thanks to Conrad and Forrest, for pointing it out to me.) It strikes me as so similar to Fritz' speech to Karoline about Language, that I think Fitzgerald must have used it as source material. (It is also, I think, quintessentially stoner.)

Another great line from The Novices of Sais, from the chapter titled "Nature":

It must have been a long time before men thought of giving a common name to the manifold objects of their senses, and of placing themselves in opposition to them.

It suddenly occurs to me that "manifold" might be a good translation of vielgestaltete in the first paragraph of Hymns to Night.

*This word is kind of bugging me, because when I read it I see the name of a language, not a type of philosophy. My suspicion is that Novalis intends it to mean "mystic", so I am making that substitution when I read.

posted evening of October 31st, 2007: 4 responses
➳ More posts about Novalis

Drop me a line! or, sign my Guestbook.
Check out Ellen's writing at

What do you think?

Jeremy Osner on Fragments

Where to go from here...

South Orange
Friends and Family