ROSE IS A ROSE IS A ROSE:
Three Morceaux on the Impossibility of Meaning
1. Tender buttons
2. Rose is a rose is a rose
Once upon a time the world was round and you could go on it around and around.
Everywhere there was somewhere and everywhere there they were men women children dogs cows wild pigs little rabbits cats lizards and animals. That is the way it was. And everybody dogs cats sheep rabbits and lizards and children all wanted to tell everybody all about it and they wanted to tell all about themselves.
And then there was Rose.
Rose was her name and would she have been Rose if her name had not been Rose. She used to think and then she used to think again.
Would she have been Rose if her name had not been Rose and would she had been Rose if she had been a twin.
Rose was her name all the same and her father’s name was Bob and her mother’s name was Kate and her uncle’s name was William and her aunt’s name was Gloria and her grandmother’s name was Lucy. They all had names and her name was Rose, but would she had been she used to cry about it would she have been Rose if her name had not been Rose.
I tell you this time the world was all round and you could go on it around and around.
From The World is Round by Gertrude Stein
“Tertius equi,” I said.
“What?” William asked.
“Nothing. I was remembering poor Salvatore. He wanted to perform God knows what magic with that horse, and with his Latin he called him ‘tertius equi.’ Which would be the u.”
“The u?” asked William, who had heard my prattle without paying much attention to it.
“Yes, because in good Latin ‘tertius equi’ doesn’t mean the third horse, but the third of the horse, or the third letter of the word ‘equus,’ which is therefore the u. But this is all nonsense....”
William looked at me, and in the darkness I seemed to see his face transformed. “God bless you, Adso!” he said to me. “Why, of course, suppositio materialis, the discourse is presumed de dicto and not de re.... What a fool I am!”
From The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover—
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.
From The Naming of Cats by T. S. Eliot