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Deafening ModernismEmbodied Language and Visual Poetics in American Literature$
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Rebecca Sanchez

Print publication date: 1979

Print ISBN-13: 9781479828869

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479828869.001.0001

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Juxtaposition, Indeterminacy, and the Linguistics of Simultaneity

(p.91) 3 Difficulty
Deafening Modernism

Rebecca Sanchez

NYU Press

This chapter tackles the issue of modernist difficulty from the perspective of ASL linguistics and linguistic rights. Focusing on juxtaposition (as demonstrated in collage poetics) and simultaneity (as seen in literary cubism), two of the most prominent ways in which modernist difficulty has been explained, it demonstrates how these dynamics emerge from manual languages as a result of their inherently visual and physical nature. Building off of analysis of ASL, it demonstrates the insights that linguistics of manual languages bring to conversations about notoriously difficult work by Hart Crane, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, and the Precisionist painter Charles Demuth, specifically the discovery of the centrality of bodies in works in which they appear to be absent.

Keywords:   difficulty, indeterminacy, juxtaposition, simultaneity, ASL linguistics

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