(o — oo– or)

“Bear’s ears” “Bears, elks, deer.” Did “deer” sound different when you said “bears, elks, deer” than when you said “bears, elk, deer” sort of thing. Something confusing me (spinning the brain) “polished by ice” (actually planed by ice) — Aveolar: Aveoli were sockets, were the teeth’s sockets, and ‘n’ was (was it an ‘n’ that was?) an aveolar consonant. Tongue against them. “R” I pronounced strangely, an unusual pitch, an unnaturally long duration “r r r r r –” in fact, a falsetto then ‘s’ which he pronounced with such emphasis –“ess”– it sounded much like “hess”, (which, whence the aspiration?) and he repeated it several times in a whisper “hess hess hess” then said (falsetto again) “r r r r r –” Trying to “feel” which parts of his mouth he was using. Or trying not to feel but be aware of what he was feeling? Which, or which? Had he used his vocal chords or not (was the consonant ‘voiced’ or ‘unvoiced’?) Had this tongue touched any part of his mouth to form the sound –and which part? Had his lips met? Kind of shocking what went on with his body to make a vowel a consonant, he thought (that is, to make a vowel sound a consonant sound) though what he was doing was also a little more complex and weirder than that, not just changing the long ‘o’ to ‘r’ but elevating the pitch as he did so — elevating, too, his lips and chin as the pitch went up, so that his head was now in a howling-at-the-moon position (o — oo– or). “Doing things Aristophanes might not have deemed alright,” was how he put it. Idea occurring: that memorizing the poem has given him a “trapdoor to reality.” There could be no true experience of reality without this kind of familiarity and knowledge of some part of it. Idea growing rapidly confusing: “but what one knew was not the poem but was knowing.” One now perceived the world with “the crown of knowing and what it is to know” on one’s head, felt the nobility one needs to see what’s real? What gave a specialist such insight was not that the whole world was contained in the one thing he had made the subject of his study, but because he knew what was demanded in truly knowing something, knew what it was to truly know something, limits of knowledge and all? Anyway, for a brief while, the words of this poem seemed like bricks of a wall he was picking up and beyond which and through which he was seeing the real world. (Though the wall reformed, the bricks snapped back quickly and sternly in space.)

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