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Imagining Language: an Anthology

by Jed Rasula and Steve McCaffery The MIT Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 638 pages
AU$99.00 NZ$104.35
Product Status: Temporarily Out of Stock
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'What Rasula and McCaffery have accomplished is to put together an astonishing and unprecedented assemblage of the multiple ways in which language has been used or been conceptualized in relation to reality.Imagining Language is a continuous revelation.' -- Jerome Rothenberg , poet, Professor of Visual Arts and Literature, the University of California, San Diego. When works such as Finnegans Wake and Tender Buttons were first introduced, they went so far beyond prevailing linguistic standards that they were widely considered 'unreadable,' if not scandalous. Jed Rasula and Steve McCaffery take these and other examples of twentieth-century avant-garde writing as the starting point for a collection of writings that demonstrates a continuum of creative conjecture on language from antiquity to the present. The result is more laboratory than inventory. The anthology, which spans three millennia, generally bypasses chronology in order to illuminate unexpected congruities between seemingly discordant materials. Thus the juxtaposition of Marcel Duchamp and Jonathan Swift, of Victor Hugo and Easter Island 'rongo rongo.'
Jed Rasula is Associate Professor of English at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. Steve McCaffery is David Gray Professor of Poetry and Letters at the State University of New York at Buffalo, New York.