• Maria Balaska


Having finished our story it might be useful to look back and remark that it began with astonishment and also ended in astonishment; but whereas in the beginning of the book, astonishment played the role of what generates a difficulty of expression and challenges the sense-making capacities of language, in the end of the book we found the possibility of astonishment at the sense-making capacities of language itself, at how much can be done with language. An example of this transition is the case of the earlier-discussed Dostoyevskian description where prince Muishkin’s hesitation “but how am I to describe it?” gives place to a creatively rich description that can also leave the reader in awe of language. A similar transition from an experience of astonishment as what evokes a sense that there is something language cannot do to the astonishment at language itself was also witnessed in the Lecture on Ethics when Wittgenstein describes that the only appropriate way to express the miracle that the world exists is through the miracle that language exists.


  1. Heidegger, M. (1976). What is Called Thinking (J. Glenn Gray, Trans.). New York: Harper Perennial.Google Scholar
  2. Wittgenstein, L. (2009). Philosophical Investigations (G. E. M. Anscombe, P. M. S. Hacker, & J, Schulte, Trans.). Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Balaska
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HertfordshireHertfordshireUK

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