Who Said This?

“Language is a code dependent upon the life rhythms of the species which originated the language. Unless you learn these rhythms, the code remains mostly unintelligible.”

Guess the author. (Or see the link to the answer in the comments.) Although it’s a somewhat Wittgensteinian sentiment, I have no particular reason to think the author had read Wittgenstein, though I wouldn’t necessarily rule it out. While the author certainly is known for having a philosophical turn of mind, he or she did not publish in the area of philosophy and is best known for something else. (The lion is not a clue to the author, btw – just a reference to Wittgenstein’s “If a lion could speak, we would not understand it” and “a mouth smiles only in a human face.”)


4 Responses to Who Said This?

  1. Roderick April 18, 2020 at 11:03 pm #

    See the answer.

  2. Christopher Dumas May 4, 2020 at 11:22 am #

    I knew it! I’d recognize Herbert’a style anywhere, even though I have (unfortunately) never read Whipping Star. I’m a huge fan of Dune — “scratch a liberal and you’ll find a closer aristocrat” and all that.

    • Roderick May 5, 2020 at 7:19 am #

      It’s part 2 in a 3-part sequence, each part of which presupposes the previous part, so if you read it, be sure to follow this order:

      1. “The Tactful Saboteur” (short story)
      2. Whipping Star (novel)
      3. The Dosadi Experiment (novel)

      The hero is an agent of the Bureau of Sabotage, whose whole function is to check and balance the other branches of government by periodically sabotaging them.

      • Christopher Dumas May 7, 2020 at 10:43 am #

        That sounds amazing. Thanks for the tip, I had Whipping Star on my TBR but not “The Tactful Saboteur.”

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