Tuesday, November 25, 2008

David Grossman speaks about language

David Grossman, interviewed at CBC's Writers and Company program 23 November 2008.
(Hear excerpt here: )

(David Grossman) - [...] one of the first things that is being forged and manipulated is the language. It is the first interest of the government, of the army also of the media by the way to manipulate the language, to create a false language, a whitewashed language. I called it in "The Yellow Wind" the landry of language. The way in which phrases and reality that are too difficult to contain, they are too contrary to what we want to think of ourselves. And there's a whole machinery of forging a language that we buffer between the citizen and what his government is actually doing. And I think in such reality it is so tempting to join this language of the choir. I believe since I started to write that writers are people who by nature they feel claustrophobic in other people's words. they just ... it's physical suffocation or even disgust. I don't want to speak the language of others.

(CBC interviewer) - One of your characters Aron in the book of intimate grammar feels he can't use words that other people have used. He needs to purify them by not saying them aloud for seven days. And then he has a little cerimony....

(David Grossman) - He created for himself a new brain under his heart. And he created a hospital for sick words. He absorbs words that come to him from the outside - from the radio, from conversations that he eavesdrops, by his parents , by people on the street - he takes these words that people are saying - you know, off-handendly, without thinking differently, and he purifies them in a very complicated process. And only when they are purified he feels entitled to utter them. They are his now, as if he calls them by their private name.

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