Art, suggests Alan Wall, is something we know when we see it in patterns – since ‘the total absence of pattern means chaos’. Mendelyeev knew this, as did Primo Levy.
The form ‘wave’ was only used for the first time in 1526 in Tyndale’s translation of the Bible: ‘For he that douteth is lyke the waues.’ Prior to that the form was ‘waw’. Now the interesting thing about ‘waw’ is that it is a palindrome. Although no wave is in fact entirely reversible, because of the law of entropy, the regularity of waves allows us to speak of their frequency and length, and this characteristic of symmetric patterning had in fact been captured by the original structure of the word. The store of language is a store of vast intelligence. We live amongst these metaphors, whether dead or alive