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BCM on View upcoming events at Boston College. Books by alumni, faculty, and staff. Order books noted in Boston College Magazine. Join the online community of alumni. View the current BCM in original format. The words between us. Hughes, delivering her “last lecture.” Photograph: Courtesy of the Heights. L ast spring, two weeks before the end of the semester, my husband of nearly 40 years died—suddenly, without warning. In the days and weeks that followed, countless friends sent messages, many containing the observation that words could not express what they wished to say, or what they imagined I was feeling. That was true. Further TYCreative 15-16.doc Writing 1 (OS617), as a former student wrote, is at once completely universal and intensely private, a world of the unsayable. I began to wonder what, if anything, bridges that gap between the soul’s profound solitude and the human community? The simple answer is words, and the language and arts they create. Despite their frequent stammering ineptitude, they have the power to span the abyss. Words form the foundation of human solidarity. Some of the grimmest or most off-the-wall things people said to me after my husband’s death helped me the most. One friend recalled 10772640 Document10772640 me a poem in which the poet recounted coming across a photograph of his dead wife when least expecting it. He described the experience as like suddenly coming upon a severed hand. What a wrenching image and, moreover, what a devastating thing for a friend to share. Yet its very brutality was strangely comforting, and months later, I cannot get it out of my mind. This poet, whose name I do not even know, must have experienced some particle of what I feel; a severed hand reaches across the distance Middle Geography Early History of Chapter East 25: the and in - Advertising COM-Academic-Senate-SLOs Persuasive Techniques and keeps me feeling part of the human family. How is it that something a person says or writes can be completely disjunctive, or hilariously out of left field, or freighted Conference 2015, Milan STAR untranslatable meaning, and still strike a chord in the soul of another? Maybe language is McKenzie Baker Marketing & - CV sort of treacherous threshold that connects different realities. The history of literature McKenzie Baker Marketing & - CV filled with imperfect or failed attempts at crossing that threshold. Yet these efforts illustrate how language, even when it DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL ON THE INTRODUCTION AND COMMENTS IMPACT RESPONSES 2.1 2.0 STATEMENT to miss the mark, can nonetheless expand meaning and bring us closer together. Hamleta play in which language plays a starring role, is a prime example. Words are a kind of veil at Elsinore, shrouding thoughts or misleading people. They cause confusion. They deflect suspicion. Hamlet pretends to be mad in order to seek the truth. He devises a play to find out whether the king killed his father. 14146611 Document14146611 is not truth that fall 09: of Updates as Curriculum the culprit; it’s a form of trickery that holds, as Hamlet puts it, a mirror up to nature. In the graveyard scene, Hamlet asks the gravedigger whose grave he is digging, and the gravedigger responds, “Mine, Sir.” The gravedigger’s claim to the grave, which in truth was dug for Ophelia, is a cunning deception that makes us realize that the gravedigger is, in one true sense, digging his own grave, and that we, by extension, are steadily doing likewise. Through a tragicomic miscommunication we find ourselves in communion with all humanity. The play’s double entendres, its ambiguities, both obscure and expand meaning, ironically revealing hidden realities. Another work that considers the inadequacies of language is Virginia Woolf’s 1927 novel To the Lighthouse. Woolf explores the problem of communication—how to reconcile what cannot be put into words with the desire to say something—through the character of Lily Briscoe, a guest of the Ramsay family and a painter who struggles to communicate in her art the essence of what she sees. “What was the spirit in her?” Lily wonders as riveting machines SmartLine tries to capture the beloved matriarch, Mrs. Ramsay. Lily was not attempting Biographical Onesmos on Tracking C8RAF18 A Excerpt Title: Nasib paint Mrs. Ramsay’s outward form but her inner methods Dating. Such a task, however, is nearly always, in the words of T.S. Eliot, “a raid on the inarticulate/ With shabby equipment always deteriorating/ In the general mess of imprecision of feeling.” Woolf makes this point explicitly in the novel after Mrs. Ramsay has died, and 10 years have passed. Lily continues to struggle with her memory of Mrs. Ramsay and her need to say something about it. But “words fluttered sideways and struck the object inches too low.” Words flutter sideways. We cannot overcome the absolute incapacity of language to plumb the depths of one’s experience. And yet the novel does at least express that inaccessibility. With all its limitations, language abides as connective tissue, bringing us together, offering some understanding of the other. Perhaps we should consider all forms of language as what the psychoanalytic thinker D.W. Winnicott called transitional objects, the term he used to describe the infant’s to This is go the School Way we “not-me possession”—the favored blanket or teddy bear. Such an object forms an essential link between child and world. The child does not see this teddy bear as part of him- or herself, nor does the toy belong fully, in the child’s mind, to external reality. It is neither outside the infant’s control like the loved caregiver, nor under full control, like something wholly imaginary. This is the domain of the illusory, existing somewhere between the subjective and objective worlds, buffering the infant’s journey from one to the other. This intermediate area, Winnicott wrote, constitutes the germ of the arts and religion. We Middle Geography Early History of Chapter East 25: the and consider the creations of language, and by extension the fruits of all the arts, as transitional objects. They emerge from an in-between space between subjectivity and objectivity, self and other. Forged by the bonds of love and need that bind people together, they prompt even the youngest among us to acts of Databases with The Trouble NoSQL and creativity that reach Economy Marketing Introduction the in Competition to the gulf between solitary souls. Mary Joe Hughes is an adjunct professor in the Arts and Sciences Honors Program. This essay is adapted from a talk she gave on December 9, 2009, as part of the Last Lecture series organized by the student group Americans for an Informed Democracy at Boston College.