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.
'Acknowledgement of the other in their specific relation to me' is acknowledgement of the history between us, of the aspects of them, and their past, and their relations to others, which they have revealed to me, as well as in some way acknowledgement of what of them is left out, or implied, or yet to be revealed, in the course of life with them or at their discretion; to acknowledge the other’s specific relation to me is at least in a sidelong way an acknowledgement of the particular shape of the unrevealed and unrealized part of their life as it stands behind that part of their life to which I have been privy.
One attenuated, or focused, form of this acknowledgement is to acknowledge the other’s independence from me, to acknowledge that they are not there for me alone or there in only the respects of concern or interest to me. For this is simply an acknowledgement of the potential gap between their life as lived within the most immediate scope of mine, and their life in its full scope, in the course it may take or the actions in which it may issue, at any given absence from me.
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.