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Slash (Percival Everett)

Par Percival Everett
Publié par Clifford Armion le 16/05/2014

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Chaque année, les invités des Assises Internationales du Roman rédigent la définition d'un mot de leur choix : il s'agit ici du mot "slash", défini par l'écrivain américain Percival Everett.

My interest in fiction derives from my interest in language, specifically how it is that our sounds and marks can have meaning for others. But my interest is not linguistic, nor would I say that it is strictly philosophical. Saussure provided us with his iconic model of meaning, the picture of a tree / the word for tree. My fascination has always been with the slash, that thing, that notion, that ether that both divides and unites a thing and its name or designator or signified / signifier. And with that slash comes the business of binary oppositions and Deconstruction and a whole world of play with meaning is constructed or deconstructed. Meaning can be ostensibly controlled, but always upon closer inspection we discover that the slash is either a slippery slope of a steep hill. I argue and seek to explore, in my own way, through my fiction the idea that meaning resides in the slash itself.

Given the nature of my thoughts concerning meaning, the meaning of the slash itself must find expansion. The slash is also for me an action against injustice, if not a violent strike, then an attempt to sever some tie or ties to the sources of injustice in the world. The disconnection I have sought is from the actions of my government. But of course the slash that severs also unites.

I also seek to distance myself from the slash, as I seek to understand meaning by exploring its opposite, ostensibly nonsense. This is not an easy matter, as the word nonsense contains the word sense and so there is some sense to it, especially its reliance of our understanding of form and sense to be recognized as nonsense.

As I seek to understand the slash, I am left with:

/ / slash


Pour citer cette ressource :

Percival Everett, "Slash (Percival Everett)", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), mai 2014. Consulté le 20/07/2024. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/litterature/entretiens-et-textes-inedits/slash-percival-everett-