0

Would you please tell me the overall meaning of the following sentence?

"Almost since the invention of writing, more than five thousand years ago, the signs that stood for words that expressed (or attempted to express) our thinking appeared to its users as models or images for things as intricate and aimless, as concrete or as abstract as the world in which we live and even life itself."

especially the marked part is confusing me. Does it say that "things" in the world is as intricate, aimless, concrete and abstract as the world itself?

Thanks for helping.

the reference: The traveler, the Tower and the Worm (Alberto Manguel,2013, page 10)

2
  • The reference was added. Aug 19, 2021 at 7:41
  • That is going to be a very hard book to understand for anyone.
    – James K
    Aug 19, 2021 at 7:53

1 Answer 1

1

Let's convert this to a dialogue...

Tell me about how we express thinking.

There are signs that stand for words that express thinking.

Do they succeed in expressing thinking?

Perhaps, at least we can say that they attempt to express thinking.

How do these signs appear to the users of writing?

They appear as models or images for things.

What kind of things?

Intricate things, aimless things. Concrete and abstract things.

How "intricate, aimless, concrete and abstract" are these things?

As intricate, aimless, concrete and abstract as the world. Even as intricate, aimless, concrete and abstract as life itself.

Have these signs always appeared to the users of writing like this?

Yes, almost since the invention of writing, more than 5000 years ago.

This is going to be a very hard book. Semiologists are renowned for their dense, complex writing. It's not a book to learn English from. I don't think there is a [semiology.se]. Perhaps you could propose one over at Area 51.

If not try the dialogue method suggested here. Rewrite the passage as a conversation.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .