Henry V. Miller, "The Enormous Womb"

"Curiously enough the verb which expresses being is in our language an intransitive verb. Most people think it quite natural that the verb to be should be an intransitive one. And yet these are languages, as we know, which make no distinction between transitive and intransitive. The spirit of these languages is more deeply rooted in symbol. Since it is only through symbolism that we apprehend anything profoundly, the more precise and conceptual a language becomes the more sterile it becomes. The modern tongues, all of them, reflect more and more the death in us. They reflect only too clearly the fact that we regard life itself as a vestibule, whether to heaven or to hell makes little difference...
"Everything that lives has will, that is, creativeness. Will is in the verb, which is the most important adjunct of our speech: a verb is ipso facto transitive. A verb, however, can be made intransitive, as the will can be rendered powerless, by the mind. But by its nature a verb is the symbol of action, regardless of whether the action be doing, having, breathing, or being."


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