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Mark Z. Danielewski$
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Joe Bray and Alison Gibbons

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719099335

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719099335.001.0001

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Only Revolutions and the drug of rereading

Only Revolutions and the drug of rereading

(p.200) 11 Only Revolutions and the drug of rereading
Mark Z. Danielewski
Joe Bray
Manchester University Press

Joe Bray argues that the highly constrained form of the printed page of Only Revolutions paradoxically dictates that the ways in which it can be read, and reread, are without limit. He draws on the concepts of figure and ground as applied in cognitive poetics to illuminate the dynamic experience of reading Danielewski’s text. He shows how passages from the two narratives contain subtle interplays of sound and sense which encourage a constant rereading, as though the reader were, in Roland Barthes’ terms, ‘under the effect of a drug (that of recommencement, of difference).’ Bray thus argues that the formal symmetries of Only Revolutions challenge the notion of a first, innocent reading and a second, more sophisticated one, inviting instead only continuous, illimitable rereadings.

Keywords:   Figure, Ground, Sound patterns, Symmetry, Rereading, Barthes, Difference

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