9 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2023
    1. There's something interesting and unique going on in Mark Sample's use of the N+7 dictionary replacement of Hacking the Academy which still makes broad sense from a grammatical and semantic sense. What levels of transformation would one have to do within a language to loose all semblance of meaning? What do these sorts of transformations, deformations, or deformances indicate about linguistics and semantic meaning within a language?

      How far must change go before it is incomprehensible?

    2. Sample, Mark. “Notes towards a Deformed Humanities.” Academic blog. SampleReality (blog), May 2, 2012. https://samplereality.com/2012/05/02/notes-towards-a-deformed-humanities/.

    3. N+7 algorithm used by the Oulipo writers. This algorithm replaces every noun—every person, place, or thing—in Hacking the Academy with the person, place, or thing—mostly things—that comes seven nouns later in the dictionary. The results of N+7 would seem absolutely nonsensical, if not for the disruptive juxtapositions, startling evocations, and unexpected revelations that ruthless application of the algorithm draws out from the original work. Consider the opening substitution of Hacking the Academy, sustained throughout the entire book: every instance of the word academy is literally an accident.

      How might one use quirky algorithms in interestingly destructive or even generative ways to combinatorially create new things?

    4. Carpentry aspires to build from scratch, whereas the Deformed Humanities tears apart existing structures and uses the scraps.

      I'm reminded of Jeremy Mayer's work of deconstruction old, non-functioning typewriters to create sculptures.

      Intriguing that he uses the word "scraps" here which plays directly into the practice of the zettelkasten within the ars excerpendi!

    5. the Deformed Humanities shares affinities with Ian Bogost’s notion of carpentry, the practice of making philosophical and scholarly inquiries by constructing artifacts rather than writing words.

      related: Library carpentries

    6. This is an argument that Steve Ramsay makes in Reading Machines. Computers let us practice deformance quite easily, taking apart a text—say, by focusing on only the nouns in an epic poem or calculating the frequency of collocations between character names in a novels.

      Isn't this the sort of analysis that William Gladstone did on Homer, or Milman Parry subsequently? Hasn't the practice of ars excerpendi always been a form of deformance? Excerpt, mix, remix, repeat...

      How far can one deform a text, subject, topic, and come up with something useful?

    7. the influential composition professor Peter Elbow suggested reading a poem backwards as a way to “breathe life into a text” (Elbow 201).
    8. Reading backwards revitalizes a text, revealing its constructedness, its seams, edges, and working parts.
    9. In 1999 Lisa Samuels and Jerry McGann published an essay about the power of what they call “deformance.” This is a portmanteau that combines the words performance and deform into an interpretative concept premised upon deliberately misreading a text, for example, reading a poem backwards line-by-line.