Marginalia, no.140

What’s meaning but vanity?  A word is a sound –
One of the handmaidens of the seraphim.

~ Osip Mandelstam

Of course even to say so requires a sense behind the sound.  The immaculate musicalities of utterance should be no more than scaffolding to the basilica.  Mandelstam ironically turns round the lament from Ecclesiastes to affirm instead that ‘vanity is all.’


1 Comment

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One response to “Marginalia, no.140

  1. Well said. This kernel of truth would serve as a competent inoculation against the rampant vanity of this, as in every, age.

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