It has been suggested that we are essentially inter-textual creatures (humans). We are, really. When we communicate with people we don’t usually produce anything purely original but rather make reference to other things (or texts); we play with these other texts or reintroduce them, reinvent them, explore them. When we speak with one another, we’re even usually inter-textual within ourselves… that is, we draw upon our own anecdotes or memories/experiences (as texts) in order to communicate. To make a point, we will– often rather than make a pure argument– merely refer to something else that will imply our meaning. Often we don’t even fully understand what our own “argument” or meaning is when we communicate with one another… often we just convey the fragments of our meaning by way of inter-textual reference. Our unconscious seems to operate intertextually in this regard: referring to memories (previous narratives) in order to alert us to… whatever its meaning/message is.
We are linguistic animals. Except, though, when we have mystical experiences during which wordlessness will often ensue. That is the moment of animal transcendence… the moments of de-languaging.
Anyway, from the following beautiful collection of quotes we may be able to infer an intertextual relationship. And they– at least for me– serve the paradoxical purpose of at once communicating their inter-textual meaning and taking me to the threshold of wordlessness. Additionally, their consistent theme and imagery may speak to the trouble of sifting through the fragmentary, inter-textual nature of our unconscious… emerging from places within us, dark and deep.
If none of that was particularly interesting or compelling, then I yield my time to the following authors. Enjoy the beauty:
“‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep–
To sleep–perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause.”
–Shakespeare, Hamlet Act III.i
“The rising world of waters dark and deep,
Won from the void and formless infinite.
Thee I re-visit now with bolder wing”
-John Milton, Paradise Lost
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
-Robert Frost, “Stopping by woods on a snowy evening”
“What dreams may come both dark and deep
Of flying wings and soaring leap
As I surrender unto sleep”
-Anthony Silvestri, lyricist for Eric Whitacre’s “Sleep”