Ordinary language is all right.
One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.
Wallace's review of Markson's Wittgenstein's Mistress is in many ways a woeful combination of good intentions, useful observations, interpretative blunders, and scholarly malpractice, of the sort that makes me nevertheless want to run home and look for my copy of Markson. But I wonder if the essential phrase, signalling a deep difference between Wallace's own interest in ordinary life and the interests of people like Cavell in 'the ordinary' or (as Cavell groups them) Wittgenstein's in 'ordinary language' or Emerson and Thoreau's in 'the common, the familiar, the near, the low', might not be the little one Wallace uses to describe ordinary language when he's giving his Investigations crib, referring to that work's 'new & clinical focus on the near-Nixonian trickiness of ordinary language itself'. Nixonian! Clearly we are not all quite on the same page here. Or at least not starting on the same one.
'a sort of springtime / toward which their minds aspired / but which he saw, / within himself—ice bound'
'the stream / that has no language'
'the same thing of no importance'
Readings gather, draw together.
I could use one of Celan's tree-high thoughts.
Sam and Diane can't help laughing at each other's jokes.