Lee Sallows

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Sentences that inventory their own typography have a curiously dual character. On the one hand they are by definition terse and precise, the meaning they convey distilled into words that defy further condensation. To this extent they belong to poetry. On the other hand, their utterances are anything but essential, the very order of their words (in the list of letter totals they recite) being entirely arbitrary. The selfsame message can always be conveyed in a thousand alternative renderings. This is the antithesis of poetry.

Self-intersecting reflexicons (the subject of my essay 'Reflexicons') represent an attempt to escape this arbitrariness through creating self-descriptors in which the position of words becomes significant. The result then becomes a structure in which "best words appear in best order", which is Sam Coleridge's definition of poetry. The essay can be found here.

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