A Revolving Door of Language

Repetition in American Experimental Writing

‘A Revolving Door of Language’ traces the experimental use of repetition from Walt Whitman and Gertrude Stein to the Language Poets. The scope of 150 years of experimental writing provides insight into the forms and functions of repetition as well as the underlying mechanisms of American literary history. Repetition is argued to be the key to new alleys of meaning and semiosis in the American search for an independent literary form developed through experimentation with language and the exploration of new modes of expression. This book traces the ways repetition challenges both the relation between word and meaning and also between sense and nonsense. The analyzed texts support the thesis that repetition can function as a method that fosters novelty and actively involve readers in the creative processes of texts.

in: Reference and Research Book News, Vol. 27.2, Apr 2012, 185f