American writer, teacher, and artist
WORDS ABOUT WORDS
When I was a child I used to think about language as an odd job lot of words, random and haphazard, you find a string to do the work, to effect meaning. Then the metaphor evolved again. Words were like a school of jellyfish with thousands of tentacles streaming below the surface, and some of those tentacles were attached or stuck together below the waves: the seemingly unconnected jellyfish were really Siamese twins if you looked closely. The connections might be syllables or synonyms. I was a rubberized underwater diver looking for those strands which tied words together. How might Aztec be like Creole or Yayoi like Ikan? I donít think I was innocently looking for natural linguistic connections I deliberately tied tentacles together, ignoring my own stung fingers.
Susan Daitch, American writer, teacher, and artist, Killer Whales, 1996
Posted on January 8, 2001 at 9:41 AM