Herder - On the Origin of Language

Actually, I'm rather irritated, which is a polite way of expressing my actual feelings.  This translation of Herder's Essay on the Origin of Language is incomplete, because the translator, in his infinite wisdom, decided that the second part of the essay did not concern specifically the origin of language, but rather "the evolution of it in diverse forms."  I did not know this when ordering the book, otherwise we should have a full and proper translation.  Without getting too philosophical, one could claim that evolution is a form of continuous origin, but our translator is not that insightful.  Nor - obviously - does he teach anything about Nineteenth Century history or nationalism.  Nevertheless, the "bleeding chunk" that we have still has its uses - please read only the First Section and the Afterword.  This will make some interesting points in our own investigation. 

Also - the playlist that accompanies Chapters 4 and 5 and the Herder is complete and available on Naxos.  The order of pieces is all wrong - listening for Chapter 5 precedes the listening for Chapter 4 - but when I try to change it, technological problems arise.  So listen carefully and with the text, so that you may listen to the various works in the correct order.

Taruskin in Chapter 4 makes reference to Mozart's The Magic Flute.  It is not really central to his argument.  Should you choose to listen to selections of this opera, you will find them on the Miscellaneous playlist.  They comprise about a half-hour of listening.

- Etan
Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:18 AM