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betwixt and between

unexpressed grammars

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masters journal



four • heteroglossia

Reading Bakhtin, his concept of heteroglossia seems starkly evident in marginalia. The stratifications within a language, its ghettos and its promenades, manifest very strikingly in a text and in its attendant amendments.

They're scavengers, marginalia, clustering in the cracks. The often cramped lacuna left to them usually ensures that brevity is a structural necessity. That constraint recalls an externally imposed form of concrete poetry, and so the employment of language is similarly bowed and pruned. Marginalia rarely enjoy (or, frankly, require) the languid prose a body text might indulge in, trending instead towards a brisk and functional clarity.

Florally inclined as my own prose usually is, subjecting it to savage abbreviation might be rather refreshing...