The many-tongued beast

Something I’m thinking about lately, a line from one of my favorite writers, Tom Robbins, whose work shoved me onto this path a long time ago…

“A writer’s first obligation is not to the many-bellied beast, but to the many-tongued beast. Not to society but to language. Everyone has a stake in the husbandry of society, but language is the writer’s special charge—and a grandiose animal it is, too! If it weren’t for language, there wouldn’t be society. Once writers have established their basic commitment to language and are taking the blue guitar-sized risk that that relationship demands, they are free to promote social betterment. But let me tell you this: Social action on a political, economic level is wee potatoes. Our great human adventure is the evolution of consciousness. We are in this life to enlarge the soul and light up the brain. How many writers of fiction do you think are committed to that?”

What does that mean to you? What does the state of our universal language—or even our local language—feel like today? Is everything alright?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s