11 September 2011

Language and Silence: September 11: A Public and Personal Anniversary

I'm probably not the only one this morning who'll be reaching for a little Wittgenstein. It sounds better to my ear in the original German: 'Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen' (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Abschnitt/Proposition 7: 'What we cannot speak about, we must pass over in silence').

If I hadn't vowed to blog every day this month, I would probably have passed over the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in silence. And the same is true, in consequence, for another anniversary that coincides with it: 11 September 2010 was the true date of first publication of A Kiss Before You Leave Me, making this a curiously personal-and-public day for me and a day of conflicting emotions, and conflicting inclinations to speak and to remain silent--not least because both the novel and this blog have represented to me heightened instances of 'breaking silence'.

But I don't want to go on embroidering on multiple meanings, exploiting accidental convergences, and such. I don't want to exploit anything or anyone. This is a day, simply, for me to say that the United States has been very good to me, and that you, all of you, have been very good to me. And that, whatever our passion for anniversaries, we are, also, 'all about' tomorrows.

I honor all of you. I wish all of you strength and tenderness. And I will see you tomorrow.

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