The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Pondering on Aphorisms...

We live in a human dream; being one in which everything appears purely in the guise of its human utility, and held in place by its human name. Name are small and sinister metaphors which restrict, absolutely, the use of an object. Our eyes open to this madness every morning; at night we dream within the dream; whole lives are spent without as much as a ripple of doubt on its surface. But when the object is allowed to shrug off its name, it begins the long road back to its own intrinsic mystery - and on finally reaching the core of its own estranging fire, radiates until the whole world is unified by it. The paperclip or the rose; either could open the path back to our awakening.

From Don Paterson, The Book of Shadows

I thought this had interesting things to say in regard to museums and material culture generally, and I'd like to hear what you think too.

So, discuss away!

2 comments:

Jen said...

We really are hindered by our language and the lack of precise and appropriate ways to express. It's like in romeo and Juliet..a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet... we are prejudice because of our language, of the connotations certain words have.

I can't help but think that my own lack of knowlegde and vocabulary is a progression towards the time where (yet again) '1984' is a warning of the confines being ever more imposed on us by 'Big Brother' whatever he may be interpreted as.

But then it is inevitable, is it not? And can there ever be a better way to approach everything external to ourselves other than using our restrictive and sinister language? If there is I can only think that it is the method of communicating this with each other that is hindering us... i can experience something less restricted than i can express.

I am babbling .... I like aphorisms :D

Jenny said...

I like aphorisms too. I think that we can express ourselves in ways other than language, and I think that the potential in language exists for a great deal of expression - especially given that many languages have untranslatable words. If children can learn any language...what could they do with all?

I think you're right though, experience can be inexpressible. Amazing.