EDIT: technically, the word 'shen' usually translates as 'spirit', but sometimes as 'God'
...They say, among the many things they say, that some thousand
years before Trojans founded Rome a scholar named Tsang-kie
was commanded by his emperor to invent Writing, and took his
inspiration from bird tracks in the fluvial sand, by whose
print we know what songs were heard here. Whence men write
today as birds' feet do, in little clustered lines. (p. 14)
,,After this brief introductory remark on the mythological origin
Chinese writing, Kenner takes great pains to analyze the
etymology of the ideogram ling, which appears in Cantos 85
tittid. 104. Unless one is curious enough to check the notes at the
pack of the book to find out that Kenner has his sources of
information from Wai-lim Yip's letter to him and from L. Weiger's
inese Character, one cannot but marvel at Kenner's recondite
'anowledge of Chinese. What is more, the reader is further
• . and out of all the lingo that chime through Chinese
speech, and mean in different tones and contexts a multitude
of unrelated things, you have designated the ling which means
the spirit or energy of a being, in harmony with the invisible
and by ritual drawing down benefice: we may say, sensibility.
It is used of the work of poets, denoting their reach into
the realm of the natural...