Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Dear Ahmed

Dear Ahmed,

Hope you are well and feeling happy and inspired.

I am shocked to see our correspondance stalled for almost five years. Your email has been in the back of my mind during this time and I am happy to say I find myself in a time and space where I can at least attempt to answer some of your points fully.

'I am used to writing in French'

Unlike many of my fellow Brits I am a Francophile and have huge respect for the antiantiintellectualism present in your culture. Language reflects culture which reflects the collective personalities (or creative imaginations) of the people who use it.

France has a rich history of thinkers including some of my personal favorites (pre-Communist Sartre, Bachelard, Debord, Baudrillard, Cendrars..) I posit that English is relatively weak in communicating the concepts these individuals did for a myriad of cultural factors. In translation into English, these thinkers' writing exists in a space where science and poetry meet - a space harder to find in the English language.

I think some users of English (Bukowski, Leonard Cohen up to and including present day comedians such as Chris Rock, Louis CK and Russell Brand - who use their special status to elucidate what those in positions of what is traditionally thought of as 'real power' cannot) transcend the language's shortcomings by using creative minimalism rather than creative verbosity. Perhaps you could bear this in mind as you struggle to communicate your thinking in English?

I'm going to send this message now as my laptop is unruly and nearly deleted the message.

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