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?

Apophenia 1: Harrison, Derrida, Lacan, Poe, Public Enemy

I’m a big fan of M. John Harrison‘s writing in general: not just his novels and stories but also his blog entries.

Lately, Harrison’s been posting lists of works in the related genres of fantasy and science fiction. It would be an understatement to refer to these lists as unorthodox; while most of the entries are books, some are films, computer games, and pop songs.

In a comment on one of Harrison’s follow-up lists, an artist named Edwin Rostron mentions something called The Codex Seraphinianus. Following the link Rostron left, I found myself thrilled by both the book itself and that essay about it. Additionally, I was also thrilled by the mention of a professor named Terry Harpold.

That was when things became apophenic.

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