Tuesday, September 16, 2008

“Language is a cracked kettle on which we bang out tunes to make the bears dance, when what we long for is to move the stars to pity.” (Gustave Flaubert, seen at right.)

I'm not completely sure about that - I like the sound of what Flaubert says, but I like those tunes and those dancing bears an awful lot, too.


  1. Hello Julie,
    I'm wondering if you could email me your email address? I'm at noteprop@gmail.com. This is regarding a permission request for one of your poems.

  2. hey !
    i wanna ask ! what does h e mean by "
    cracked kettle ??
    i really didn t understand its meaning
    Thanks :)

  3. Anonymous -

    Hey yourself!

    I think "cracked kettle" means that it doesn't always sound beautiful (if you hit an unbroken kettle with a metal spoon, for example, it might almost sound pretty - like a bell....) When the kettle is broken, though, the bell sound flattens out and just sounds like noise. So Flaubert is saying that even though we want to make musical speech, what we usually do is just make noise. Our language is more like simple music at a little village circus than music you hear in a Symphony Hall.

    That what I think Flaubert was saying.