jueves, 22 de septiembre de 2011

The seventy-ninth cat

Have you ever tried the experiment of saying some plain word, such as
"dog," thirty times? By the thirtieth time it has become a word like
"snark" or "pobble." It does not become tame, it becomes wild, by
repetition. In the end a dog walks about as startling and undecipherable
as Leviathan or Croquemitaine.

It may be that this explains the repetitions in Nature, it may be for
this reason that there are so many million leaves and pebbles. Perhaps
they are not repeated so that they may grow familiar. Perhaps they are
repeated only in the hope that they may at last grow unfamiliar. Perhaps
a man is not startled at the first cat he sees, but jumps into the air
with surprise at the seventy-ninth cat. Perhaps he has to pass through
thousands of pine trees before he finds the one that is really a pine
tree. However this may be, there is something singularly thrilling, even
something urgent and intolerant, about the endless forest repetitions;
there is the hint of something like madness in that musical monotony of
the pines.
GKChesterton

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