Raven 170: Talking About It

About. See it as an adverb rather than a preposition. We say that we talk about this and that, and it's the object of this preposition that fools us: this or that, as if there were such things. About, the adverb, has no object: we walk about, going here and there. Or, since words are tools, not representations, think of what it would mean to hammer about, or go wrenching about for an afternoon. Suppose talking were like that. Isn't it?

So, then, is Owl's silence indicative of her inability to meet Raven's command? Or is this silence Owl's way of continuing to talk about?

One evening Owl spoke up first during the question period and asked, "Is there anything we can't talk about?"
Raven said, "We can't talk about anything."
Owl asked, "Aren't we doing it now?"
Raven said, "It disappeared."
Owl asked, "How can we retain it?"
Raven said, "It's not a matter of retaining. Speak!"
Owl was silent.


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