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Tropisms (for Nathalie Sarraute and Lydia Davis)


Why do you say what you say?

An intertwining and mutually affecting flow of sensations, feelings, perceptions, motivations, intentions, directed attentions, and resulting inattentions – tropisms – coalesce in each act of speech. 

For instance, sensitivities and motives can color what you say. What you want from someone. What you don’t want known. A feeling of anger, frustration or joy. Clinging to a feeling, or fleeing it. A desire to challenge or to placate. Really, all of these have lives of their own.

So what you say is often a saying-hiding of forces, often at odds, coalescing into one occasion of speech.

Query: are the tropisms hidden only from the listener – or from you, the speaker, as well?

Query: aware of them, seeing through them, now what’s said?


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