Dies: A Sentence by Vanessa Place

By Vanessa Place

Defined via John Witte of the Northwest assessment as “a surprise of sustained synergy,” and through writer Jim Krusoe as “dizzyingly complex,” Place’s unmarried 117-page sentence unmoors time and area as its legless narrator recounts the conflict trip that has lead him to his ultimate aspect of ultimate fact, subsequent to an armless guy making stew. As poet and pupil Susan McCabe says in her advent, “Roll over, pricey Whitman. Here’s our new original.”

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Lausavisur and Other Verses 23 Knowledge of this custom might have preconditioned prose authors into supposing that verses of other types that came their way were also lausavisur. There also existed an apparently long-established literary form that combined prose and verse in a prosimetrum (Kuhn 1952:2767). Verses that had begun life as self-contained poems, independent of any prose contribution, might at a later stage have been incorporated within a prose narrative on the model of genuine prosimetm.

Probably, then, he inherited the present historic idiom from skaldic and other vernacular poetry, while his knowledge of Latin served, if anything, to reinforce it. Gunnlaugr, as we have seen, does not make uniform use of the present historic. Sometimes it is interspersed with the preterite, sometimes it is used alone. In the three stanzas where all the verbs are present-tense (vv 6, 16 and 18), the illusion develops that the speaker is commenting on events as they occur. ' A modern example is the sports commentary, where the commentator's description of the football match or horse race or other event keeps pace with the action as it proceeds.

Finnur Jonsson agreed with these views, noting that in the historical sagas verses are occasionally introduced as if they were lausavisur although clearly they belong to (extended) poems (n 1923:149-51). He suggested that the xvikvida had originally been composed for recitation after a telling of the prose saga. The manuscripts that group all the stanzas in one poem near the end of the saga would therefore be close to the author's original intentions, and very similar is the use of 'KrakumaT in the versions of Ragnars saga.

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