It seems we must imagine that no literary expression or experience is ultimately unavailable to us; the single individual is not so conditioned by his own language, culture and literature as not to be able to experience all other literatures; and the individual author likewise can be appreciated all over the globe.
Either language is thin, and we run through it easily, and see through others’ eyes.
Or it is thick, and we will it to be thin, because the alternative is that we don’t know what the hell is going on in the world.
A lunatic tower was launched at the stars; Titans savaged one another and of their broken backs came the splinters of isolated speech; eavesdropping, like Tantalus, on the gossip of the gods, mortal man was struck moronic and lost all rememberance of his native, universal parlance.
George Steiner, After Babel