Sleeping with the Dictionary
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Sleeping with the Dictionary

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ISBN-13:
9780520927834
Seiten:
85
Autor:
Harryette Mullen
Serie:
4, New California Poetry
eBook Typ:
Adobe Digital Editions
Kopierschutz:
Adobe DRM [Hard-DRM]
Sprache:
Englisch
Beschreibung:

Harryette Mullen's fifth poetry collection,
Sleeping with the Dictionary, is the abecedarian offspring of her collaboration with two of the poet's most seductive writing partners,
Roget's Thesaurus and
The American Heritage Dictionary. In her ménage à trois with these faithful companions, the poet is aware that while
Roget seems obsessed with categories and hierarchies, the
American Heritage, whatever its faults, was compiled with the assistance of a democratic usage panel that included black poets Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps, as well as feminist author and editor Gloria Steinem. With its arbitrary yet determinant alphabetical arrangement, its gleeful pursuit of the ludic pleasure of word games (acrostic, anagram, homophone, parody, pun), as well as its reflections on the politics of language and dialect, Mullen's work is serious play. A number of the poems are inspired or influenced by a technique of the international literary avant-garde group
Oulipo, a dictionary game called S+7 or N+7. This method of textual transformation--which is used to compose nonsensical travesties reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky"--also creates a kind of automatic poetic discourse.



Mullen's parodies reconceive the African American's relation to the English language and Anglophone writing, through textual reproduction, recombining the genetic structure of texts from the Shakespearean sonnet and the fairy tale to airline safety instructions and unsolicited mail. The poet admits to being "licked all over by the English tongue," and the title of this book may remind readers that an intimate partner who also gives language lessons is called, euphemistically, a "pillow dictionary."
Harryette Mullen's fifth poetry collection, Sleeping with the Dictionary, is the abecedarian offspring of her collaboration with two of the poet's most seductive writing partners,
Roget's Thesaurus and
The American Heritage Dictionary. In her ménage à trois with these faithful companions, the poet is aware that while
Roget seems obsessed with categories and hierarchies, the
American Heritage, whatever its faults, was compiled with the assistance of a democratic usage panel that included black poets Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps, as well as feminist author and editor Gloria Steinem. With its arbitrary yet determinant alphabetical arrangement, its gleeful pursuit of the ludic pleasure of word games (acrostic, anagram, homophone, parody, pun), as well as its reflections on the politics of language and dialect, Mullen's work is serious play. A number of the poems are inspired or influenced by a technique of the international literary avant-garde group
Oulipo, a dictionary game called S+7 or N+7. This method of textual transformation--which is used to compose nonsensical travesties reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky"--also creates a kind of automatic poetic discourse.



Mullen's parodies reconceive the African American's relation to the English language and Anglophone writing, through textual reproduction, recombining the genetic structure of texts from the Shakespearean sonnet and the fairy tale to airline safety instructions and unsolicited mail. The poet admits to being "licked all over by the English tongue," and the title of this book may remind readers that an intimate partner who also gives language lessons is called, euphemistically, a "pillow dictionary."
Acknowledgments

All She Wrote

The Anthropic Principle

Any Lit

Ask Aden

Between

Bilingual Instructions

Black Nikes

Blah-Blah

Bleeding Hearts

Bolsa Algodón

Coals to Newcastle, Panama Hats from Ecuador

Coo/Slur

Daisy Pearl

Denigration

Dim Lady

Dream Cycle

Ectopia

Elliptical

European Folk Tale Variant

Eurydice

Exploring the Dark Content

Fancy Cortex

Free Radicals

The Gene for Music

Hitched to a Star

Jinglejangle

Junk Mail

Kamasutra Sutra

Kirstenography

The Lunar Lutheran

Mantra for a Classless Society, or Mr. Roget’s Neighborhood

Music for Homemade Instruments

Naked Statues000

Natural Anguish

Once Ever After

O, ’Tis William

Outside Art

Present Tense

Quality of Life

Resistance Is Fertile

She Swam On from Sea to Shine

Sleeping with the Dictionary

Souvenir from Anywhere

Suzuki Method

Swift Tommy

Ted Joans at the Café Bizarre

Transients

Variation on a Theme Park

Way Opposite

We Are Not Responsible

Why You and I

Wino Rhino

Wipe That Simile Off Your Aphasia

Xenophobic Nightmare in a Foreign Language

X-ray Vision

Zen Acorn

Zombie Hat