Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Babel Gift

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:17 PM

"In the story 'Guy de Maupassant' (completed 1922, published 1932) Babel, or at least a narrator we are led to suppose is Babel, pronounces: 'A phrase is born into the world good and bad at the same time. The secret rests in a barely perceptible turn. The lever must lie in one's hand and get warm. It must be turned once, and no more.' To him words are an army, 'an army in which all kinds of weapons are on the move. No iron can enter the human heart as chillingly as a full stop placed at the right time.' This iron, an aggressive partner to Kafka's 'axe for the frozen sea within us', is something Babel learned to wield with recurring, unerring accuracy."

Chris Power in The Guardian , 10 February 2012

See as well "Art Wars for Trotsky's Birthday"
and some historical background.

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