What is an adjective? Nouns name the world. Verbs activate the names. Adjectives come from somewhere else. The word adjective (epitheton in Greek) is itself an adjective meaning "placed on top," "added," "appended," "imported," "foreign." Adjectives seem fairly innocent additions but look again. These small imported mechanisms are in charge of attaching everything in the world to its place in particularity. They are latches of being.
Of course there are several different ways to be. In the world of the Homeric epic, for example, being is stable and particularly is set fast in tradition. When Homer mentions blood, blood is black. When women appear, women are neat-ankled or glancing. Poseidon always has the blue eyebrows of Poseidon. Gods' laughter is unquenchable. Human knees are quick. The sea is unwearying. Death is bad. Cowards' livers are white. Homer's epithets are a fixed diction with which Homer fastens every substance in the world to its aptest attribute and holds them in place for epic consumption. There is a passion in it but what kind of passion? "Consumption is not a passion for substances but a passion for the code," says Baudrillard.
--Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse, from page 4