PreDictionary by Mikhail Epstein
(Atelos Project)

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Synopsis

Literary Nonfiction. Poetry. PREDICTIONARY is about blank spaces in language and culture and their formative role in conceptual and artistic creativity. It is a dictionary of would-be words that are designed to fill gaps in language and generate new concepts and meanings. Focused on the creative potential of a neologism and a dictionary entry, this book is dedicated to both poetry and poetics.  
The concept of lexicopoeia comes from Ralph Emerson: "Every word [lexis] was once a poem." To keep language alive, we must constantly reinvent, rejuvenate, and reanimate it - to imbue it with poetry. This means, in particular: to give birth to new words. One freshly coined word, a "lexicopoem" is the most concise genre of literature, more terse than even an aphorism. The main part of the book includes 150 entries in 14 thematic sections. All new words are supplied with definitions and examples of usage. The theoretical parts, Introduction and Afterword,  discuss the word- and dictionary-building process. The author sees the transition from the analysis to the synthesis of language as a most promising path of innovation in contemporary "post-analytic" philosophy and linguistics.
 

About Mikhail Epstein

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Published December 6, 2011 by Atelos. 155 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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