Language Mysticism: The Negative Way of Language in Eliot, Beckett, and Celan
This work explores the place granted to language within metaphysical and theological hierarchies traditional to Western culture, where it reflects a deeply embedded ambivalence in the Western tradition toward material and temporal conditions in general. The author uses the writings of T.S. Eliot, Samuel Beckett, and Paul Celan to show how immediate this history of ambivalence remains. The language-centred interest of each writer focuses on theologies that are mystical and negative. A negative approach to language is almost always central to the mystical desire for a state beyond multiplicity, temporality and embodiment. The author argues that the stances toward language of these three writers register their struggle to locate values that endow life with meaning, and the possibility of translating these values into historical reality.
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