How interesting John Milton's use of the word "certain" is.
Geoffrey Nunberg (somewhere) makes the point that parentheses and quotations follow similar typographical, and, you could say syntactic rules: If you open a parentheses (with a lunula) you have to close it (with another, facing the opposite way). Likewise if you open a direct quotation (with raised, inverted commas (auf Englisch, zumindest), you have to close it (with reverted commas, but at the top of the line as well (das gilt auch für Deutsch für die „Gänsefüßchen”)).
Can poetry help us understand blockchain? Are Bitcoins a new genre of poetry?
When playing chess, what do you mean when you say "check"? Per Wittgenstein, perhaps we communicate in ways that have surprisingly little to do with what we actually say.
On the power of probability to haunt the ontology of everyday things.
It is one thing to take inspiration from another's work for one's own creative writing, but it is entirely another to complete a work first conceived and named in another's fiction. What to make of such fictions within fictions?
Blanchot (commenting on Priam's supplication of Achilles) says the choice in Homer is violence or speech. In Vergil, in the modern state, our choice is only violence or the silence, whether of Dido or Ajax, imposed upon us by our isolation within the emptiness of our dreams (Milton).
An updated version of Shelley's "The Mask of Anarchy" reflecting the 2016 election and its Republican presidential candidate.
Consider this: classic noir movies are about truth rather than erotic satisfaction. A MacGuffin pulls a narrative down a track criss-crossing the love story that will make the movie end happily. We want the happy ending, but not too soon.
On how memory relies on rhythm to fill in blanks by giving a silent voice to the unthought.
William Flesch is the author, most recently, of Comeuppance: Costly Signaling, Altruistic Punishment, and Other Biological Components of Fiction (Harvard, 2008), and The Facts on File Companion to 19th Century British Literature. He teaches the history of poetry as well as the theory of poetic and narrative form at Brandeis, and has been International Chair Professor at the National Taipei University of Technology (2012) and Old Dominion Fellow of the Humanities Council and Visiting Professor at Princeton (2014-15).