Speaking to My Father in a Dead Dialect

Jun 27, 2014 939

by Joseph Luzzi

The 18th-century Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico believed that as a civilization progressed, it lost touch with its creative origins. An ancient warrior would never declare "I'm angry"; he would wax metaphorical with "my blood boils."

The Roman poet Horace went a step further, believing that when words died they took memories with them. Just as forests change their leaves each year, so, too, do words: new languages "bloom and thrive" but only after "the old race dies."

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Source: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/

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