Language is a lie

‘God’, too, comes forth, is fabricated by the power of naming, from nothing. In this sense, the God that is named is an impostor. Whereas verbal richness constitutes the lie of the language of men, nudity and poverty are the lies of God (‘La nudite´, la pauvrete´ sont mensonges de Dieu’, Livre des questions, p. 93). The inventive, mythifying power of the word is human in its wealth of flourishes and divine in its dearth, its blankness clearing space for infinity. But in either case, language is an artifice, a lie relative to the truth of infinite silence that outstrips it and is always already there where words end. So that the saying even of nothing betrays it into the guise of something: some sound or sign is given to represent the unrepresentable. This makes language constitutively mendacious.

William Franke on Jabès 

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