“We float in language like icebergs – four-fifths under the surface and only one-fifth of us projecting into the open air of immediate, non-linguistic experience.”
I love this quote from Huxley, which I offer up to share with you on this, the first day of autumn. No matter how gifted a writer may be (and Huxley certainly was one of the great ones of the 20th century) she or he must always bear in mind the limitations of language. Say or write as much as we like the better part of our intended meaning remains not only unexpressed but inexpressible.
At the risk of quibbling with genius, I offer Aldous the following suggested emendation, based on the growing realization that it is a medium other than language which provides for our collective buoyancy:
We float in life like icebergs – four-fifths under the surface and only one-fifth of us projecting into the open air of shared linguistic experience.
After another long, hot summer, the iceberg still hasn’t melted. And yet in the present day and age, even as we head into autumn, with the western mountains ablaze, we intuit that the icebergs will not last forever. So it is I wish a bountiful autumn to everyone.