Tuesday 8 February 2011

Language is always inadequate

In some ways the impossibility of the task given to the participants, of accounting for their experience of dance in writing, almost becomes the point. Meaning and insight were produced through the struggle and within the gaps and the failures as well as the successes. I find the following articulation of this impossibility in relation to linguistic expression of feeling or experience is particularly useful:

Language is always inadequate. We dance with the impossible each time we put
words on the page. It is far better to dance with impossibility than to accept
the first ordinary word that comes to mind, the easy cliché. (Neilsen cited in
Prendergast 2009: xxvi)

There is of course nothing particular to the experience of inadequacy, ineffability or simple frustration to the challenge of writing or speaking about dance. As Neilsen indicates, this is the challenge of accounting for any kind of lived experience of the world. Secondly, that while accepting this impossibility, rather than avoiding the challenge it is valuable to try to go beyond the first draft and to engage with the craft and practice of writing.

1 comment:

  1. Dance is itself a language which any one can master but like other languages one have to give it's 100% to have grip on it. Lovely post, thanks for sharing it