The Stutter of Form

Edited by Craig Dworkin

in The Sound of Poetry / The Poetry of Sound

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780226657424
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226657448 | DOI:
The Stutter of Form

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The literary stutter has tended to be either a qualification of a characters' speech or a graphically approximated marker of idiolect that is merely registered in language. Stuttering is less a condition that does or does not exist than a rate at which one aspect of the normal mechanism of speech can no longer be overlooked or ignored. The audible silencing of language from a stutter in language to the stutter of language, can be clearly heard in the work of Alvin Lucier. Like Lucier, Pierre Guyotat has also attempted to smooth out the stutter, and with similar results: radically deforming the comprehensibility of language and transferring the logic of the stutter to the text itself. Thus, the stutter structures language in two opposing directions, both blocking certain aspects of speech and impeding the facile consumption of language, while at the same time permitting or producing literary compositions based on its formal characteristics.

Keywords: stutter; literary; speech; idiolect; stuttering; audible silencing; language

Chapter.  7415 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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