from a notebook for a study on the Nibelungen.
– Legend forms itself from a series of symbols in a manner to be specified.
-These symbols are unconsciously subject to the same variations and laws as any other series of symbols, for example, the symbols which are the words of language.
– They are all part of semiology.
As there is no system which establishes that a symbol must remain fixed, or must be infinitely variable, it should probably remain fixed within stated limits.
From the instant at which a symbol becomes a symbol, which is to say, from the instant at which it becomes immersed in the social mass which at any given moment establishes its value, its identity can never be fixed.
– Thus the rune Y is a symbol.
– Its IDENTITY seems something so tangible, and almost ridiculous to establish it more securely consists in this: that is has the form Y; that it is read Z; that it is the letter numbered eighth in the alphabet; that it is mystically called zann, at least when it is cited as the first in the word.
After a short interval . . . it is the 10th in the alphabet . . . but already here., IT begins to assume a unity which
Where is its identity now? ….any symbol, once in general circulation – and symbols must exist only because they are in circulation – is absolutely incapable of defining at any given instant what its identity will be at any subsequent instant.