Punctuation: Art, Politics, and Play

Punctuation: Art, Politics, and Play

by Jennifer DeVere Brody
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0822342189

ISBN-13: 9780822342182

Pub. Date: 05/21/2008

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

In Punctuation: Art, Politics, and Play, Jennifer DeVere Brody places punctuation at center stage. She illuminates the performative aspects of dots, ellipses, hyphens, quotation marks, semicolons, colons, and exclamation points by considering them in relation to aesthetics and experimental art. Through her readings of texts and symbols ranging from style

Overview

In Punctuation: Art, Politics, and Play, Jennifer DeVere Brody places punctuation at center stage. She illuminates the performative aspects of dots, ellipses, hyphens, quotation marks, semicolons, colons, and exclamation points by considering them in relation to aesthetics and experimental art. Through her readings of texts and symbols ranging from style guides to digital art, from emoticons to dance pieces, Brody suggests that instead of always clarifying meaning, punctuation can sometimes open up space for interpretation, enabling writers and visual artists to interrogate and reformulate notions of life, death, art, and identity politics.

Brody provides a playful, erudite meditation on punctuation’s power to direct discourse and, consequently, to shape human subjectivity. Her analysis ranges from a consideration of typography as a mode for representing black subjectivity in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man to a reflection on hyphenation and identity politics in light of Strunk and White’s prediction that the hyphen would disappear from written English. Ultimately, Brody takes punctuation off the “stage of the page” to examine visual and performance artists’ experimentation with non-grammatical punctuation. She looks at different ways that punctuation performs as gesture in dances choreographed by Bill T. Jones, in the hybrid sculpture of Richard Artschwager, in the multimedia works of the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, and in Miranda July’s film Me and You and Everyone We Know. Brody concludes with a reflection on the future of punctuation in the digital era.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822342182
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
05/21/2008
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

For(e)thought: Pre/Script: gesturestyluspunctum 1

1. Smutty Daubings 27

2. Belaboring the Point . . . 62

3. Hyphen-Nations 85

4. "Queer" Quotation Marks 108

5. Sem;erot;cs ; Colon:zat:ons : Exclamat!ons ! 134

Post\Script: Cyberpunktuations? 156

Notes 169

Bibliography 191

Index 207

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