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04 March 2007 @ 09:18 pm
Response #3  
It's difficult to concretely define what exactly gives a language "life" beyond its communicative functionality. The first thing that comes to mind is attempting to define what it is that gives an anthropomorphic carbon-based entity "humanity", at the risk of sounding trite. Or, when does a mechanical activity (such as jewelry-making or painting) lose its "life" and become purely mechanical?

I do not know if such a definition exists. Indeed, almost by definition, if you can define something in more concrete terms (such as "love" and "emotion"), it loses meaning in the mechanical, cumbersome definition. Writing that is alive is undefinable, but the reader knows it is alive. That is the only way to define it without perverting it. There is emotion and meaning and the wildness and madness of dreams. There is an unrestrained element, something of the innermost secrets of humanity.

Writing for an audience (instead of for oneself), writing without regard for art or sound or emotion--considering these former topics, writing becomes alive when it fulfills the most positive aspects of these topics. When it comes from within, when it evokes all of the senses. Life cannot be parsed into pure elements.