Echolalias: On the Forgetting of Language

Overview

In Echolalias, Daniel Heller-Roazen reflects on the many forms of linguistic forgetfulness. In twenty-one concise chapters, he moves between classical, medieval, and modern culture, exploring the interrelations of speech, writing, memory, and oblivion. Whether the subject is medieval literature or modern fiction, classical Arabic poetry or the birth of French language, structuralist linguistics or Freud's writings on aphasia, Heller-Roazen considers with precision and insight the forms, effects, and ultimate ...
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Overview

In Echolalias, Daniel Heller-Roazen reflects on the many forms of linguistic forgetfulness. In twenty-one concise chapters, he moves between classical, medieval, and modern culture, exploring the interrelations of speech, writing, memory, and oblivion. Whether the subject is medieval literature or modern fiction, classical Arabic poetry or the birth of French language, structuralist linguistics or Freud's writings on aphasia, Heller-Roazen considers with precision and insight the forms, effects, and ultimate consequences of the persistence and disappearance of language. In speech, he argues, destruction and construction often prove inseparable. Among speaking communities, the vanishing of one language can mark the emergence of another, and among individuals, the experience of the passing of speech can lie at the origin of literary, philosophical, and artistic creation.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Echolalias is a rare find a book about language where the language itself steers a course between the scholarly and the poetic. Difficult, erudite, and full of luminous parables, it is worth multiple readings." nth position

Zone Books

"In short, I highly recommend Echolalias to the writer, the codeworker, the critic, anyone who works with language, who participates in the assumptions of language. It is brilliantly written, moves subtlety between cases, anecdotes, and cultural histories

• through theoretical considerations - while remaining close to the bone." Alan Sondheim American Book Review

Zone Books

"This thought-provoking book contains a memorable aphorism by Kafka that could stand as its epigraph: 'I can swim just like the others. Only I have a better memory than the others. Ihave not forgotten the former inability to swim. But since I have not forgotten it, being able to swim is of no help to me; and so, after all, I cannot swim.'" London Review ofBooks

Zone Books

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781890951498
  • Publisher: Zone Books
  • Publication date: 5/1/2005
  • Pages: 287
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Heller-Roazen is the Arthur W. Marks '19 Professor of Comparative Literature and theCouncil of the Humanities at Princeton University. He is the author of Echolalias: On theForgetting of Language; The Inner Touch: Archaeology of a Sensation; The Enemy of All: Piracy and the Law of Nations; and The Fifth Hammer: Pythagoras and the Disharmony of theWorld, all published by Zone Books.

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Table of Contents

I The apex of babble 9
II Exclamations 13
III Aleph 19
IV Endangered phonemes 27
V H & Co. 33
VI Exiles 45
VII Dead ends 53
VIII Thresholds 67
IX Strata 77
X Shifts 89
XI Little stars 99
XII The glimmer returns 113
XIII The writing cow 121
XIV The lesser animal 129
XV Aglossostomography 149
XVI Hudba 163
XVII Schizophonetics 179
XVIII A tale of Abu Nuwas 191
XIX "Persian" 195
XX Poets in paradise 203
XXI Babel 219
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