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'Like, yet unlike.'

‘Like, yet unlike,’ is Merry’s comment in The Lord of the Rings when he first sees Gandalf and Saruman together: Gandalf, returned from the dead, has assumed the white robes formerly worn by Saruman, who has succumbed to despair and been corrupted by evil and is about to be deposed. 2,112 more words

Philosophy

St. Anselm and the Blackbird

Blackbird

Its eye a dark pool
in which Sirius glitters
and never goes out.
Its melody husky
as though with suppressed tears.
Its bill is the gold… 1,526 more words

Language-related

Expressing conviction

In an earlier piece (‘For us, there is only the trying‘) I observed that one of the insights that come with being a writer is the tentative nature of all writing, that it is… 1,734 more words

Language-related

More thinking about thinking

As I remarked elsewhere, a lot of my own thinking might be described as ‘subvocalisation’, i.e. speaking without voicing the actual words. Even as I am typing this, I am constructing the sentences ‘in my head’ – though I would not say that I hear them: this is not someone else’s voice, it is mine, and though I do hear my own voice when I speak, I am stopping short of speaking here (though since I do occasionally break into actual speech, it is evidently the same process). 832 more words

Philosophy

A penny for them...

‘What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
I never know what you are thinking.’
– Eliot, The Waste Land

‘He’s the sort that you never know what he’s thinking’ defines a recognisable character but carries a curious implication. 3,524 more words

Philosophy