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The Old Language

Professor Thanjavur developed Neolect when he was in prison as a way of dealing with his anger. He spent his thirties in the facility and the injustice of it, well, obviously — would you feel any different? — his wife and her lover free to walk in the rain, wake up in each others arms, go to a coffee shop and him? Life? What kind of life? Was it life really?

In Neolect you cannot say of two human beings that the first loves the second and simultaneously knows that the second hurts him. There are many distinct words for what a human being can expect from another human being. “I remember solace from you. I take pleasure in imagining intimacy with you. I fear without you this world will take my soul.” That you can say. But “I love you and you hurt me” that is like “the pencil sky clouds the yesterday.”

In George Orwell’s 1984 there is something similar with NewSpeak — “Big Brother is double plus ungood” is literally meaningless. But Orwell had to imagine a dictator and his party forcing his country to adopt Newspeak. It took no party or secret police to force people to speak NeoLect. It felt like when you are done sobbing, and gradually your breath returns to normal. In NeoLect there is a single word for that feeling, when the sobs have stopped racking the body, and pain no longer abrades the mind.

Oolo. Macha peecha sawa oolo neolect talkee talkee. Talking Neolect is a deep relief.

It is.

I am the last one who speaks the old language, but even I do the hard work of making sense of my life in neolect, because the old language? What is it really? A mental illness? Perhaps?

And if I’m the only one who speaks it, then?

Last night I woke up in the dark, begging myself to forgive myself. Outside Perhaps howled, screamed like the Great Not, tore up the Now Sky, bloody as fuck, and would not be comforted.

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One thought on “The Old Language

  1. Interesa, kiel ĉiam. Ĉiu lingvo havas siajn limojn. Ĉinaj deklaroj ofte havas plurajn eblajn signifojn kaj vi ne povas kompreni ilin sen scii la kuntekston. Mi fidas, ke vi fartas bone kaj vi estas sendanĝera.

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