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.....Creation by the Word.... - Sri Aurobindo

Letters on Poetry and Art ->On His Poetry and Other's Poetry->Practical Guidance for Aspiring Writers ...


Remarks on Bengali Usage


Laws and Caprices of Usage

Funny thing—this word-coinage! Sometimes people accept it, sometimes they reject.
After all when one coins a new word, one has to take the chance. If the word is properly formed and not ugly or unintelligible, it seems to me all right to venture.
If it is not accepted it will remain a blot in the poem. Tagore coined the word tWNAi5t but he laments that people have not accepted it.
Why a blot? There are many words in Greek poetry which occur only once in the whole literature, but that is not considered a defect in the poem. It is called a hapax legomenon, “a once spoken word” and that’s all. tWNAi5t for instance is a fine word and can adorn, not blot Tagore’s poetry even if no one else uses it. I think Shakespeare has many words coined by him or at least some that do not occur elsewhere.

16 January 1937

A Language Grows and Is Not Made

Will it be a narrowness on the part of the Calcutta University if it does not include foreign words for the enrichment of Bengali literature?
It is a matter of opinion and tastes differ. But I don’t see how a University can change the language. A language grows and is not made, except in so far as it is the great poets and prose writers who make it.

15 July 1937

Sri Aurobindo

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The only way to come a little close to him is to love him sincerely and give oneself unreservedly to his work. Thus, each one does his best and contributes as much as he can to that transformation of the world which Sri Aurobindo has predicted.

The Mother
(Vol. 12, pp. 398-99)