JAMES DAVIES: Cross Referencing in ‘Stack’

This essay, part of a thesis is provisionally titled Stack: Minimalism, Literalism, Slowness, examines cross referencing in stack, a poem written as part of a practice based PhD at The University of Roehampton.

 Cross referencing, used creatively, is a style that can create slowness by disruption and therefore has been a tool that I have been keen to adapt in stack through the use of repetition and footnotes. In his book No Medium (2013) poet and critic Craig Dworkin points out that using footnotes in creative texts creates defamiliarisation and “slows the reader’s habitual consumption of the communicative content” (66). The standard way to read a poem is from left to right, from start to finish until the poem makes sense, until an image, argument or narrative is followed through. This limited way of reading has been challenged regularly and variously by modernist and post-modernist schools which means that a good many readers are au fait with the proposition that any text can (and must) have multiple types of discourse and therefore be potentially open to hypertextual readings. stack uses two chief methods to direct the reader to elements of its hypertextuality: footnotes and repetition. Footnotes in stack are used both in line with and against their normative systems. Repetition in stack is carried out by duplicating lines and also by using what French group Oulipo calls the clinamen, a swerve away from symmetry that creates manifold layerings.


TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE: Cross Referencing in stack



James Davies’ work includes Acronyms, A Dog and Plants. Three major works are currently in progress: stack, If the die rolls 5 then I stamp the date and The Lovers – a collaborative novel with Philip Terry. For the last 6 years he has run the poetry night and website The Other Room and edited the publishing house if p then q. He is currently undertaking a PhD in Creative Practice at The University of Roehampton. www.jamesdaviespoetry.com


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