Wave Forms: A Natural Syntax for Rhythmic Language
In this daring book, the author proposes that artistic and literary forms can be understood as modulations of wave forms in the physical world. By the phrase "natural syntax," he means that physical nature enters human communication literally by way of a transmitting wave frequency.
This premise addresses a central question about symbolism in this century: How are our ideas symbolically related to physical reality? The author outlines a theory of communication in which nature is not reached by reference to an object; rather, nature is part of the message known only tacitly as the wavy carrier of a sign or signal. One doesn't refer to nature, even though one might be aiming to; one refers with nature as carrier vehicle.
The author demonstrates that a natural language of transmission has an inherent physical syntax of patterned wave forms, which can also be described as certain "laws of form" a phrase used by D'Arcy Thompson, L. L. Whyte, Noam Chomsky, and Stephen Jay Gould. He describes a syntax inherent in natural languages that derives from the rhythmic form of a propelling wave. Instead of the "laws" of a wave's form, however, the author speaks of its elements of rhythmic composition, because "rythmos" means "wave" in Greek and because "composition" describes the creative process across the arts. In pursuing a philosophy of rhythmic composition, the author draws on cognitive science and semiotics. But he chiefly employs symmetry theory to describe the forms of art, and especially the patterns of poetry, as structures built upon the natural syntax of wave forms. Natural syntax, it turns out, follows a fascinating group of symmetry transformations that derive from wave forms.
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amphibious Anasazi animal archetype basic bilateral bilateral symmetry Blake body carrier waves chapter Chinese composition concept conservation cultures curvilinear deixis describe diagram discussion Dogon dragon electromagnetic spectrum elements energy example fearful symmetry Figure force form of wave Four Directions geometry grammar groups helical helicoid Herbert Read Hereafter cited hocker ical idea kind light waves limbs lines linguistic meaning metaphor moving proportion natural language natural syntax off-angled old sequence patterns phonemes physical syntax Plumed Serpent poem poetic poetry point of view primal principle propelling Quetzalcoatl recurrence reenact rhyme rhythm rhythmic Robert Creeley rotation S-curved says seen semiotic sentence shapes Signifier sound waves speech acts spiral strokes structure sun's symbolic symmetry sharing symmetry theory syntactic things thought three space tion trans transformations translation trope turn twist Universal Grammar University Press vehicle visual wave forms wave frequencies weaving words York
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