Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I Babel, You Babel, He She Babel

So back to this City o Glass stuff (like I said, it be frothing). There was this guy named Dark mentioned in its pages, who had apparently theorized about a new Tower of Babel that would get people back to th Edenic language (yes, this again) that they had had before they fell from Eden.

Now we readers get to see some pictures alongside the explanation of some of Dark's theory on page 44, and I found quite a lot more being said in the images than the texts that accompany them.

Follow me:

Auster et. all, 2004

On the page previous we saw the depiction of the Christian God’s decree “Let there be light,” which resulted in there being light because, in Eden and the Edenic language, “light” would be not only the word used to refer to light, but it would be light itself. The first panel on the page shown below depicts two hands, one passing a brick to another, followed by a panel where the hands begin laying bricks down and filling the panel, seemingly a representation of the text in the panel regarding God’s order to “fill the earth.” The next panel is completely bricked up, declaring textually and visually that man had then completed this tasked and “filled” this earth. However these bricks almost completely black out the panel, covering the light that was one in the background. This seems to drag up against the previous decree for light, as then man has gone and covered this light up completely, as if “man-made” things almost go against the god-orders given.

These bricks seem to then be transformed in the next panel into the tower of Babel, which has been referred to often in this graphic novel, and which the text claims must be torn down or appropriated in order to get back to the Edenic language where words and their meanings become the same thing. This idea extends into the next panel that seems to be shapes that I read as a skyline. In that way this pictorial representation has become a marker for something that it is not, but with the idea of this Edenic language that means that it must also be the thing that it represents.

The panel following this one shows that skyline expanded and sitting atop a big apple. While this image does not specifically say “New York City”, as it did earlier in the graphic novel, I am still given the impression that that is what this is. This “Big Apple” only seems big because I have already decided that shapes on top of it are buildings of a city, and so with then so small on top of it, the apple must be “big”.

Below these images in an image is a map of the USA, or a picture of the USA, or (edenically) the USA. The text above it claims that the commandment to fill the continent has been carried out. I wonder if the idea is that the USA, or that NYC ,is the place where this new Babel must take place, and where one unified and universal language can be attained so that the Edenic can then be reached.

The USA has no official language (despite the many voices that claim “English” is American, the USA has never legally declared an official language). I wonder if this has any part in why NYC and the USA were chosen. The “Big Apple” is seen as a cultural melting pot, a veritable city of Babel, and yet it exists in a place where no language has been declared.

Perhaps this signifies the possibility for language to become one, or for the Edenic to develop in this place where all language seems to meet. With so many languages in one place, it may be easier to mash them all together to find the “true” language beneath them. If the Tower of Babel was where tongues were split into these different languages, then each one must be a part of the whole, and so only by bringing them all together could the original be found (even if the plan set forth by Dark seems to be to wipe out all language by isolating people without language from birth.)

I wonder then what could possibly be found. Every two weeks a language “dies out”, meaning that its last native speaker dies and there are no more people to speak it. If this is the case, then can the original ever be found with so many of its pieces missing?

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