Print Page

Shannon-Clark Lecture

October 30, 2014

7:00 PM

Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library

Julie Cline

Wayne Koestenbaum will deliver the 2014 Shannon-Clark Lecture titled “Punctuation.”

Talk Description: What happens when we pay as much attention to punctuation marks (period, comma, semi-colon and other symptoms of exactitude) as we do to the words themselves? What happens when we treat the punctuation marks as divining rods, leading us to underground springs?

“What matters is the punctuation,” said the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, who also wrote, or said: “I really want my copious marks to slow down the speed of reading.” Sometimes we can push our ruminations toward greater pleasure and perversity by edging our reading toward the silent places where meaning arrives at its arrangements through punctuation.

In this lecture, Koestenbaum takes a tour of his library, from A to Z (Hannah Arendt to Unica Zürn), selecting sentences whose punctuation marks push him toward revelation—all with the goal of making his thinking more strange to itself, more whimsical, and more candid.