Third Hand Plays: The Comedy of Recursion

Critical Writing
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My tagline for literary works that employ high degrees of recursion, or recursive-like structures, is “how solipsistic?” since my sense is that truly recursive linguistic practice nearly entirely decimates any of the common expressive characteristics of language — there is no possibility of a lyric “I,” no fiction of witness, no documentary content, no pretense to the poem being somehow a charting of the play of the mind (as poets such as Robert Creeley and John Ashbery have described their practice), no politics, etc.

One could say that a recursive poem is pure structure, but that structure would be quite meaningless if the poem did not have some qualities that we associate with normative signification

The ultimate recursive work that I know of is called “2002: A Palindrome Story” by Nick Montfort and William Gillespie.

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Eric Dean Rasmussen