language games

A Quote by Jean-Francois Lyotard on postmodern, pomo, postmodernism, language, language games, joy, words, and word games

This last observation brings us to the first principle underlying our method as a whole: to speak is to fight, in the sense of playing, and speech acts fall within the domain of a general agonistics. This does not necessarily mean that one plays in order to win. A move can be made for the sheer pleasure of its invention: what else is involved in that labor of language harassment undertaken by popular speech and by literature? Great joy is had in the endless invention of turns of phrase, of words and meanings, the process behind the evolution of language on the level of parole. But undoubtedly even this pleasure depends on a feeling of success won at the expense of an adversary – at least one adversary, and a formidable one: the accepted language, or connotation.

Jean-Francois Lyotard

Source: Jean-Francois Lyotard [The Postmodern Condition (1979) pupl. Manchester University Press, 1984.]

Contributed by: Robert

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