2002

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1014  Friday, 12 April 2002

From:           Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 10 Apr 2002 17:19:26 +0100
Subject: 13.1005 Re: Love and Grammar
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1005 Re: Love and Grammar

'And what about "Houyhnhnm"?" asks Markus Marti. 'In Houyhnhnm language
the word signifies both "a horse" and "the Perfection of Nature", but
probably many (or all) other things too. And it rhymes with "homonym",
doesn't it? Hm, I think Houyhnhnm as a language is the most
houynomological language of all'.

Swift knew a thing or to about poststructuralist Marxism, it seems. But
I guess that fits in with his struggle with Locke ( ! ). The Houyhnhnms
[hereafter "the word"] clearly "interpellate themselves as subject".
I've always imagined that the word was an onomatapoeic representation of
a horse's whinny (like weehee - yes, look it up!), which would not
exactly "rhyme" with homonym. It is undoubtedly a visual half-rhyme,
though. Bloody hell, that's nearly as bad as "dialogic stage
direction"...

m

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