Lists and Conjunctions: Some Reminders

For some as-yet unknown reason, I feel compelled to post the following here, because I might forget these ideas just when I’ll be needing them:

William H. Gass:

Lists, then, are for those who savor, who revel and wallow, who embrace, not only the whole of things, but all of its accounts, histories, descriptions, justifications. … Even the jeremiad is a list, and full of joy, for damnations are delightful. Lists are finally for those who love language, the vowel-swollen cheek, the lilting, dancing tongue, because lists are fields full of words, and roving bands of “and.”

The polysyndeton: the ands justify what they mean. The asyndeton: when the ands end.

Hendiadys: Not so much when two become one as when one becomes two. Or do those two refer to one thing?

Advertisements