Ever frustrated from your inability to transmit emotions unto paper?

Ever had that intense and immense frustration in which you could never project or translate into writing what you felt? Ever felt that disappointment with the inherent limits of language (and I’m also pretty sure you don’t really mean sometimes what you write; you even have to use further symbolisms to drive home the point that you’re jocular or totally serious)? Did you think that it wasn’t even in agreement with what you really felt at the moment? (I think Retsgip is pretty familiar with this.)

I never was educated in philosophy. Nor did I particularly like that subject, but in the search for good books I came about Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein, arguably among the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. Now I won’t exude braggadocio by saying that I totally understood his sharp and incisive words, because I understood only about 20% of the material, maybe even less. This 20% has been enough, however, to elucidate me on matters regarding the incompleteness, the apocrypha that language is. This is especially true whenever I blog: although I try to deliver, present, or express what I feel towards things all they end up are as symbols (words) that try to represent what I feel. I cannot say, even if my vocabulary was that of Shakespeare’s, what I feel: I can only show it. This was something culled from the treatise:

What we cannot think what we cannot think; we cannot say what we cannot think.

Another lovely quote:

Everything, therefore, which is involved in the very idea of the expressiveness of language must remain incapable of being expressed in language and is therefore inexpressible in a perfectly precise sense.

And another one:

Language disguises thought. So much so, that from the outward form of the clothing it is impossible to infer the form of the thought beneath it, because the outward form of the clothing is not designed to reveal the form of the body, but for entirely different purposes.

And another one:

What finds its reflection in language, language cannot represent; what expresses itself in language we cannot express by means of it.

And another one:

What can be shown cannot be said.

And to top it all off (and this, incidentally, was part of the culmination or the ending of the book):

What can be said at all can be said clearly; and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence. (I guess this has become my most recent motto.)

Again, I don’t feign understanding. I am quite weak even in just the common-sense department, so I’m practically asinine and perhaps a total joke when it comes to symbolic and sentential logic. (These logic arguments were practically after the thirtieth page รขโ‚ฌโ€œ and the treatise is ninety pages long. I still read through the whole piece, mind you, but I didn’t understand anything about his logic arguments, truth-tables or truth-functions. I was also pressed for time seeing that classes had already started and I had no longer time to read leisurely, so I just skimmed through the parts I wouldn’t understand unless I had a formal course in logic [which I don’t].) Ironically, though, he comes full circle near the end: what I mean is that after decimating arguments and theories by other prominent philosophers of his time like Bertrand Russell with the use of logic, he professes that logic and he himself was a farce. I even perceive that he wanted the reader to live life not just thinking about it, but living it. Who am I to say this, though?

PS. So now, I’m going to watch an episode of Tsuyokiss. It will be the antidote for all this brain-melting that has happened: it will make me normal once more, because it’s both pathetically bad, and pathetically stupid. Why do I watch it? Because I stick to my guns, and I promised myself I would. I’m quite lucky that it was available, else I’d have to get myself drunk and be as wise as the masked man below.

9 Responses to “Ever frustrated from your inability to transmit emotions unto paper?”

  1. Quajafrie Says:

    Language disguises thought. So much so, that from the outward form of the clothing it is impossible to infer the form of the thought beneath it, because the outward form of the clothing is not designed to reveal the form of the body, but for entirely different purposes.

    SO TRUE. My main problem with writing is that I can’t express what I feel the way I’d wanted to. When I read what I’ve written, I always think “That is not me”, but really, I can’t help it.

    Humans think too fast to be able to convey their thoughts in a paper. I think the only way to do something like that is write your thoughts exactly when they come into your mind. But for some reason, I tend to think more in places where I’m not able to write.

    Maybe it’s all in my mind and I can’t transmit emotion unto paper just because I’m not that good at writing as I’d hoped to be.

    Tsuyokiss sucks.

  2. Retsgip Says:

    Wow, being linked to in the same entry as Bertrand Russell has got to be a first.

    I like to think that I can communicate my feelings well enough, even with my limited vocabulary and writing ability. I suppose the use of analogies and symbolism is the easiest way for me get points across that are hard to explain. Most of the time it’s dealing with a subject that’s rather abstract, or not so concrete in the world around me (for example: being “fake” ;p). It sucks not being able to explain things, especially since I’m planning on being a teacher. It’s kind of like ripping out my insides with a fork.

    Those quotes were amazing. It brings me back to the days when I took a few Philosophy classes and were asked to read some interesting stuff (don’t ask, I don’t remember). I must say though, I hate reading something I don’t understand. It makes me feel stupid because I KNOW it’s the English language and I should be fluent at it, so why must I struggle.

    I kinda feel the same way about writing as Quajafrie up there ^. When I write essays or even my blog entries, I don’t plan it out. I sit down for a few seconds, twiddle my thumbs, then turn into Nagato in the episode Day of Sagitarius. Ever been in bed and your brain starts turning over, so you rip your covers off and run to a notepad or something near by to write down your thoughts? I do that fairly often because I know if I let it sit there for too long, they’ll lose their innocence or I’ll forget the thought completely.

  3. Michael Says:

    I do that practically everytime I write a blogpost. So you’re not alone in this respect.

  4. cebukitty Says:

    Hmmm, everytime I read your posts, I have enable my electronic dictionary as you use such highfalutin words. Not that I’m complaining — on the contrary I do so love adding inscrutable words to my vocabulary! ๐Ÿ™‚ But for you to complain that you don’t understand half the words a writer is talking about — nakow, if I took a peek at “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus” my brain would probably split ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As for being frustrated at the inability to put emotions on paper, ah well emotion is so fluid that its darn difficult to pin them down with words. The best way to convey what you feel is to paint using a palette of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs — in short you’ll have to enter the demesne of poets.

    Newayz Michael, I love your distinct writing style. Unlike other pedantic anime blogz, you pepper your articles with lots of personal anecdotes, and garnish them with literary and philosophical quotes. This creates intimacy with your readers and puts them so at ease that they give constant feedback.

  5. Michael Says:

    Heck, some people think I use thesaurus.com to find synonyms to use just that I could make stuff high-falutin’. I don’t mind (though I really don’t use it at all). :V Anyway, thanks for the support and the compliments: they are highly appreciated. I do check the words that I may have seem to forgotten the meaning of in the dictionary, but never had I the need to use a thesaurus.

    I’ve been accused of my professor (but I got an A in him, anyway, so that’s alright) with the possession of verbal diarrhea; admittedly, I do have it, but after reading the prose of Faulkner there’s just no turning back – for me it just makes me content to find mot juste, or the right word rather than use simpler words which don’t effectively convey what I am meaning. I am sorry for this solipsism, but I cannot write otherwise. I would just think that I am writing not the best English I could write, and that is personally unacceptable to me. This isn’t something I’d gladly compromise, however. Pedantic or pedagogic, I hope you can take it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. MH Says:

    Sometimes I think the words you use get in the way of expressing what you really mean. To call yourself “asinine” in the context of trying to understand philosophy, for example, makes little to no sense. I knew what you were trying to say but it came out like you were trying really hard to look up random words in a thesaurus. If there’s one tip I can pass on from my four years of paper writing in college it’s this: if you’re considering two words, pick the one that the majority of people are going to understand.

    That being said I think Wittgenstein is a hack =P And the only stuff Bertrand Russell ever wrote that was remotely interesting was his scathing (though not nearly well-structured enough) attack on Christianity.

  7. Michael Says:

    I don’t know, it makes perfect sense to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Aww … of course, I learned my lesson: don’t mess w/ Philosophy again for casual reading. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. MaXpOiN Says:


  9. Leo Peng Says:

    yes, it is a difficult question, you give me a good clue.

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