The context that controls the reading of the Gettysburg Address

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:

“Impregnated during a wild spree” wouldn’t sound correct, but “Conceived in Liberty” can be read that way. The context matters

This seems like an extreme dip into deconstructionism, but I think it can be a lot of fun to remember how slippery words are. The same phrase evokes different images for different people. The title of the work is “Precious Nonsense” which can only be accurate if all text is nonsense, since all text is slippery in the same way, unless we agree that poetry has a special power, in which case we are saying that all poetry gains its power from nonsense.

The author, Stephen Booth, argues that many standard literary tropes have perversity as a common denominator. I suppose this is roughly in line with Freud’s assertion of sexual impulse underlying creativity, or Keith Johnstone’s suggestion that when someone is unable to engage in improvisational acting it is because they are worried someone will think they are either boring or obscene or psychotic.