Download Philosophy of Nonsense: The Intuitions of Victorian Nonsense by Jean-Jacques Lecercle PDF

By Jean-Jacques Lecercle

'Jean-Jacques Lecercle's notable Philosophy of Nonsense deals a sustained and significant account of a space that's frequently rapidly brushed off. utilizing the assets of up to date philosophy - particularly Deleuze and Lyotard - he manages to deliver out the significance of nonsense' - Andrew Benjamin, college of Warwick Why are we, and particularly why are philosophers and linguists, so interested by nonsense? Why do Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear look in such a lot of another way uninteresting and dry educational books? This fun, but rigorous new e-book by means of Jean-Jacques Lecercle exhibits how the style of nonsense was once developed and why it has proved so enduring and enlightening for linguistics and philosophy.

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Sample text

I can ascribe their natural stresses to these inexistent words—Cránkadox, Grýxabodìll (with main stress on the first syllable and secondary on the last), no doubt because I am aware of the anapaestic structure of the poem. Dysphony is never total, not only because 37 PHILOSOPHY OF NONSENSE unpronounceable words do not always make good poems, but also because exploitation never produces chaos—merely a cosmos that is slightly awry. Homer sometimes nods; nonsense texts often limp, but the limp is affected.

The creature is obviously a logophilist, and therefore not to be trusted. All we have is the global coherence of discourse: something is being said, only I do not know exactly what. ) ‘Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas—only I don’t exactly know what they are! However, somebody killed something: that’s clear, at any rate—’35 This is the best description I know of the experience of reading nonsense. What Alice is dimly aware of is that narrative coherence somehow compensates for semantic incoherence.

The poem is ready to leap when the opportunity comes. We can take the contrast between dominant euphony and dominated dysphony as our first illustration of the dialectics of excess and lack in nonsense. There is an excess of phonetic rules in nonsense: rules of phonotactics, of accentuation, of prosody and metrics. And there is also exploitation, a threatened but never achieved subversion of these rules—dysphony and lanternois are its names. But there is no extremist flouting of rules, no equivalent of Artaud’s cris.

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