Studies in honor of Eddo Rigotti
Edited By Giovanni Gobber and Andrea Rocci
Italo Carta: The evocative and transformative power of words
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The evocative and transformative power of words
ITALO CARTA, University of Milano-Bicocca
When I began to think about the structure of this contribution many observations came to my mind: the most obvious of which is the one that refers to the immense literature that deals with the word, with words, with their origin, their truth, their effectiveness and their vanity: “verba, verba, praetereaque nihil”, “words, words, words” (Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2) words, words, nothing but words: a latin sentence picked up by Shakespeare in Hamlet put in the mouth of the Prince of Denmark and definitely intended to be derogatory about words themselves. The hard fact, however, is the inevitable and inescapable need to use words to talk about them either to enhance their power and, even before that, their nature, or to denigrate them and judge them a dangerous vehicle of lies and of any sort of wickedness. This introduction is simply meant to reiterate that some things or many things may be said about words without getting out of the so-called semiotic circle, always remaining within it, as the different kind of conversations about words, that is meta-speeches, are substantiated by words themselves. For a few hundred thousand years, as we are fond of saying, we have lived in a verbal language with a pessimistic and skeptical perspective about the ability to find out some truth, we are prisoners of them in relation to the expression of our thoughts and...
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