Repost from Letters of Note: The Beauty of Words by Lafcadio Hearn

This is an excellent letter on the matter of using words from different languages (as I tend to do) – from the irreplaceable Lafcadio Hearn to his editors:

Recognizing the ugliness of words, however, you must also recognize their physiognomical beauty. I see you and the Editor of the “Atlantic” are at one, however, in condemning my use of Japanese words. Now, I can’t entirely agree with either of you. As to the practical side of the question, I do. But as to the artistic, the romantic side, I don’t. For me words have colour, form, character; they have faces, ports, manners, gesticulations; they have moods, humours, eccentricities;—they have tints, tones, personalities. That they are unintelligible makes no difference at all. “

Full letter here:

Letters of Note: The Beauty of Words.

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