By Jean-Jacques Lecercle
'Jean-Jacques Lecercle's notable Philosophy of Nonsense deals a sustained and significant account of a space that's often swiftly brushed aside. utilizing the assets of up to date philosophy - significantly Deleuze and Lyotard - he manages to carry out the significance of nonsense' - Andrew Benjamin, college of Warwick Why are we, and specifically why are philosophers and linguists, so occupied with nonsense? Why do Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear look in such a lot of in a different way uninteresting and dry educational books? This fun, but rigorous new e-book through Jean-Jacques Lecercle indicates how the style of nonsense used to be built and why it has proved so enduring and enlightening for linguistics and philosophy.
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Extra info for Philosophy of Nonsense: The Intuitions of Victorian Nonsense Literature
These words may not be as ‘deserving’ as the coinages in ‘Uffia’, but they can still be pronounced without doing undue violence to our linguistic habits. 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.
Alice is liberated, during her stay in Wonderland, from the constraints of a Victorian education; the text is freed from the usual rules of language. This is not a false, but a partial and therefore a naive conception of nonsense. Countless critics have stressed the uneasy feelings which Wonderland suggests in Alice and the reader alike (Carroll’s world is rather unlike Walt Disney’s version, and much closer to the Czech film version of Alice in Wonderland,42 in which a whiff of Kafka is perceptible).
In other words, nonsense deals not in symbolism but in paradox. 32 I do not intend to provide a new and original reading of this stanza, to add my modest brick to a palatial pile, but to reflect on possible ways of reading such a text, in which the abundance of coinages makes the simplest attempt at reading problematic. e. on the order of Saussure’s langue. This impels us to read the text on four levels: phonetics, morphology, syntax and semantics. On the phonetic level, we shall note that the text is eminently readable, an excellent choice for public reading.