Sleeping with the Dictionary by Harryette Mullen | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Sleeping with the Dictionary

Sleeping with the Dictionary

4.0 1
by Harryette Mullen
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520231430

ISBN-13: 9780520231436

Pub. Date: 02/22/2002

Publisher: University of California Press

Harryette Mullen's fifth poetry collection, Sleeping with the Dictionary, is the abecedarian offspring of her collaboration with two of the poet's most seductive writing partners, Roget's Thesaurus and The American Heritage Dictionary.
In her ménage à trois with these faithful companions, the poet is aware that while Roget

Overview

Harryette Mullen's fifth poetry collection, Sleeping with the Dictionary, is the abecedarian offspring of her collaboration with two of the poet's most seductive writing partners, Roget's Thesaurus and The American Heritage Dictionary.
In her ménage à trois with these faithful companions, the poet is aware that while Roget seems obsessed with categories and hierarchies, the American Heritage, whatever its faults, was compiled with the assistance of a democratic usage panel that included black poets Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps, as well as feminist author and editor Gloria Steinem. With its arbitrary yet determinant alphabetical arrangement, its gleeful pursuit of the ludic pleasure of word games (acrostic, anagram, homophone, parody, pun), as well as its reflections on the politics of language and dialect, Mullen's work is serious play. A number of the poems are inspired or influenced by a technique of the international literary avant-garde group Oulipo, a dictionary game called S+7 or N+7. This method of textual transformation—which is used to compose nonsensical travesties reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky"—also creates a kind of automatic poetic discourse.

Mullen's parodies reconceive the African American's relation to the English language and Anglophone writing, through textual reproduction, recombining the genetic structure of texts from the Shakespearean sonnet and the fairy tale to airline safety instructions and unsolicited mail. The poet admits to being "licked all over by the English tongue," and the title of this book may remind readers that an intimate partner who also gives language lessons is called, euphemistically, a "pillow dictionary."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520231436
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
02/22/2002
Series:
New California Poetry Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
85
Sales rank:
772,148
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
All She Wrote
The Anthropic Principle
Any Lit
Ask Aden
Between
Bilingual
Instructions
Black Nikes
Blah-Blah
Bleeding Hearts
Bolsa Algodón
Coals to Newcastle, Panama Hats from Ecuador
Coo/Slur
Daisy Pearl
Denigration
Dim Lady
Dream Cycle
Ectopia
Elliptical
European Folk Tale Variant
Eurydice
Exploring the Dark Content
Fancy Cortex
Free Radicals
The Gene for Music
Hitched to a Star
Jinglejangle
Junk Mail
Kamasutra Sutra
Kirstenography
The Lunar Lutheran
Mantra for a Classless Society, or Mr. Roget’s Neighborhood
Music for Homemade
Instruments
Naked Statues000
Natural Anguish
Once Ever After
O, ’Tis William
Outside Art
Present Tense
Quality of Life
Resistance Is Fertile
She Swam On from Sea to Shine
Sleeping with the Dictionary
Souvenir from Anywhere
Suzuki Method
Swift Tommy
Ted Joans at the Café Bizarre
Transients
Variation on a Theme Park
Way Opposite
We Are Not Responsible
Why You and I
Wino Rhino
Wipe That Simile Off Your Aphasia
Xenophobic Nightmare in a Foreign Language
X-ray Vision
Zen Acorn
Zombie Hat

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Sleeping with the Dictionary 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago