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word is murder

Word is murder of a thing, not only in the elementary sense of implying its absence - by naming a thing, we treat it as absent, as dead, although it is still present - but above all in the sense of its radical dissection: the word "quarters" the thing, it tears out the embedment in its concrete context, it treats its component parts as entities with an autonomous existence: we speak about color, form, shape, etc., as if they possessed self-sufficient being. The power of understanding consists in this capacity to reduce the organic whole of experience to an appendix to the "dead" symbolic classification. In our everyday attitude, we are "spontaneous Bergsonians": we bemoan the fate of immediate life experience, we point out how the fullness of life flow escapes forever the network of language categories, we laugh at those who become so entangled in the fictitious world of symbols that they lose the taste of effective life.

- Slavoj Žižek, from 'Enjoy your Symptom!'

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