29 September 2005

Wernick's Aphasiasticals

Wernicke’s aphasia is known as a fluent aphasia because the patient does not appear to have any difficulty articulating speech (none of the slack-jawed verbal hammers for these guys), but may be paraphasic. Comprehension of speech is impaired and sometimes even single words are not comprehensible; the world of words descends to la la land, a land of hootcalls and Hunns, where even Topsy and Tim (or Elmore Leonard, or Richard B. Parker or Charles Bukowski) neologise themselves into Finnegan's Wake.

The Memory of Language, once a noun, becomes a nasty, inexpressible verb.

So, yes. The 'new' Sigur Ros' album Takk is Coldplay heard through the gauze of Wernick's Aphasia but I can't just can't get the horrible smell out of my lungs that it might still be quite beautiful.

Sigur Ros - Saeglopur

(courtesy of the Prog Rock Archives)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like your analogy to Wernicke's aphasia. I'm guessing you don't speak Icelandic, and as a result the meaningless vocals aroused an emotion that reminded you of what you believe Wernicke's aphasia is like.

I assume that people who speak Icelandic wouldn't find the same meaning as you.

I'm pretty sure only language (lyrics) can denote specific meaning, and that music alone can't. The meaning you found has nothing to do with the music itself, even though the music caused that response in you. It's probably not fair to evaluate the music on the grounds of your subjective experience (although this might not have been your intention).

However, I do think that your experience is grounds for you to like or not like the music.

I don't think music is a language, but it certainly can cause real emotional responses (with unfounded meaning). We can choose to like or dislike music on this ground, but not evaluate the music for what it is.

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