言葉の魂の哲学

選んだ言葉がしっくりしないことがある。或いは外国語を日本語で置き換えても何かが違う。この「しっくり」の正体は何なのか。

中島敦「文字渦」の老博士とホーフマンスタール「チャンドス卿の手紙」のチャンドスは言葉がゲシュタルト崩壊を起こす経験を経て、言葉が現実の代理・媒体に過ぎない、現実を覆う「ヴェール」であるとの言語観に至る。そして、これに相対する言語観を著者はヴィトゲンシュタイン、カール・クラウスの言語論を追いながら提示する。ゲシュタルト崩壊に襲われている状態を、チャンドス卿は「何かを別のものと関連させて考えたり語ったりする能力を失っている」と自己分析するが、後に示されるようにこれは慧眼であった。

自然言語(日本語、ドイツ語など)は語彙が多く、多義語の割合も多いのが特徴となっており、その非効率性を解消する目的で人工言語(エスペラント語など)が造られた。語彙の一義性が特徴である。が、ヴィトゲンシュタインはそうした人工言語に「吐き気を催す」と厳しい評価を下す。彼は言語を言語たらしめる特徴を、言葉が連想を呼び起こすという点に見ている。

言葉の使用は「生活の一部」である。言い換えれば、言葉は各々の文化の有り様を示すものである。「言葉が豊かな連想の喚起力をもつのは、各々の文化が辿ってきた長い歴史の中で、無数の言葉が絡み合いながら、文字通り生活の一部となるような仕方で意味を持ってきたからである」。つまり言語は各々の文化の「生ける遺産」であるのだ。バスク人やフィンランド人、そして日本人も、己の言語に誇りを持つ人たちが繰り返し表明してきた事実である。そして言葉の「意味」は、それがどのような生活の中に位置し、どのようなものと関連するかを見渡してはじめて、その輪郭を捉えることができる。

馴染みの言葉は多様な連想を次々に喚起する。その「たくさんのよく知られた道」は過去から現在に至る長い言語実践の辿った道である。「しっくり」くる言葉を選ぶという行為は、その言葉が表わす「実体」(或いは「本質」と言うべきか)にピッタリと当て嵌まるものを探すという行為(これは老博士やチャンドス卿の言語観である)ではない。ソレが使われる文脈の中で、ソコに至る辿るべき無数の「道」の先にあるソレを手繰る行為なのだ。クラウスによれば言語は自律的であり、ソレは「訪れる」ものである。未だ訪れていない状態では、ソレの手掛かりはただ「しっくりこない」という感覚以外に無い。「訪れ」を得て初めて、自分が思っていたことが遡及的に、そこから延びる道を通じて浮き彫りになる。これをクラウスは「創造的必然性」と呼ぶ。そしてこれが思考するという行為の本体である(かもしれない)。

「たくさんのよく知られた道」は各々の文化が辿ってきた言語的実践でもあるが、各個人がそれまでの人生で辿ってきた実践でもある。「道」が密であるほど、その人の言語的環境は多面的で、柔軟である。或いは「思考は」、と言いえようか。僕は宮沢賢治のことが頭に浮かぶ。彼はその人生をかけて「道」を辿り続け、後世の我々から見ると個性的な表現を書き綴った。それらは決して奇をてらったものではなく、彼に「訪れた」、それ以外にないものだったのだ。翻って、我々が普段使う言葉は同じような語彙と常套句に満ちた、同じようなパターンに陥っていないだろうか。

非常に面白い、考えることの多い読書であった。ここで書いた内容も纏まっておらず、間違いが有るかもしれない。考えたことの1割も書いていないと感じるが、一旦ここで紹介を終わる。

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