Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines.


Another axiom--That if poetry comes not as naturally as the leaves to a tree, it had better not come at all.


Arthur Krystal, in a Times article, writes rightly about the difficulties some writers seem to have with the spoken word. Personally I can say that when I open my mouth, it seems as though my available vocabulary drops by half, and my verbal IQ by nearly as much; it is like a microcosm of aphasia, than which I cannot personally imagine a more awful affliction.

When writing, whether on the keyboard or even longhand, it is as if words and ideas come rushing via broadband, whereas while speaking it is as if I am rustling through a sprawling card catalog, a clock ticking loudly in the background. But it is not merely a matter of a certain leisure of writing, for I write quickly. I suppose it is mainly an issue of overlearning a certain mode.

While the literature of medical documentation carries very little general wisdom, one dictum meant to keep the lawsuits at bay--"If it wasn't documented, it didn't happen"--does reflect at attitude one can acquire toward text. The spoken word is usually evanescent, the textual word potentially forever. The spoken word is all about supporting a relationship--whether personal, professional, civic, or legal--whereas the written word can be about instantiating a reality.


Retriever said...

Well, I talk as much as I write, and get myself into a lot of trouble with both.....:)

I'm absolutely atrocious at debate, or legal type argument or any conversations with hostile/arrogant types and become a turtle and pull into my shell. But am fine at public speaking and preaching, despite being shy one on one.

Anonymous said...

Speaking for me is a verbally mechanical process where thoughts are linearly transmuted into words; whereas writing is more of a translation of image-based thought animations: thoughts come to me as pictorial representations and writing is the secondary process of verbalising those images.

Speaking is like fruit picking and basketing the ideas into coherent sentences; writing is more like painting with words, the colours sloshing against each other cohering into their own sense of logic.

Writing also seems to have the ability to better access, integrate, and connect wildly disparate thoughts/ideas than speaking does.

And the actual act of writing seems to be self-perpetuating, fueling its own momementum and materialising concepts unknowable were it not for the writing itself.