In the Word Wood
The Desire for Dragons

Words forged in earth, air, fire, and water

Water flows under an old stone wall, 1

“[F]or adults, the world of fantasy books returns to us the great words of power which, in order to be tamed, we have excised from our adult vocabularies. These words are the pornography of innocence, words which adults no longer use with other adults, and so we laugh at them and consign them to the nursery, fear masking as cynicism. These are the words that were forged in the earth, air, fire, and water of human existence, and the words are: Love. Hate. Good. Evil. Courage. Honor. Truth.”   - Jane Yolen

Water flows under an old stone wall, 2

“Nobody believes me when I say that my long book is an attempt to create a world in which a form of language agreeable to my personal aesthetic might seem real. But it is true.”  - J.R.R. Tolkien

Water flows under an old stone wall, 3

"Language is a bountiful gift and its usage, an elaboration of community and society, is a sacred work. Language and usage evolve over time: elements change, are reborn or forgotten, and while there are instances where transgression can become the source of an even greater wealth, this does not alter the fact that to become entitled to the liberties of playfulness or enlightened misuse of language, one must first and foremost have sworn one's total allegiance.”  ― Muriel Barbery

Water flows under an old stone wall, 4

“Language is music. Written words are musical notation. The music of a piece of fiction establishes the way in which it is to be read, and, in the largest sense, what it means. It is essential to remember that characters have a music as well, a pitch and tempo, just as real people do. To make them believable, you must always be aware of what they would or would not say, where stresses would or would not fall.” - Marilynne Robinson

Water flows under an old stone wall, 5

“From time to time I try to imagine this world of which he spoke--a culture in whose mythology words might be that precious, in which words were conceived as vessels for communications from the heart; a society in which words are holy, and the challenge of life is based upon the quest for gentle words, holy words, gentle truths, holy truths.

"I try to imagine for myself a world in which the words one gives one's children are the shell into which they shall grow, so one chooses one's words carefully, like precious gifts, like magnificent gifts, like magnificent inheritances, for they convey an excess of what we have imagined, they bear gifts beyond imagination, they reveal and revisit the wealth of history.

"How carefully, how slowly, and how lovingly we might step into our expectations of each other in such a world." 

Patricia J. Williams

Tilly beside the stream

Comments