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Wittgenstein, Kraus, and Valéry

A Paradigm for Poetic Rhyme and Reason


Luis Miguel Isava

This book attempts to establish a paradigm for the way language works – that is, means and creates meaning – in contemporary Western poetry. The «model» is developed from a rereading of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s theory of language; a rereading that is complemented with Karl Kraus’s conception of language creation and Paul Valéry’s theories of poetry and language. The implications of the paradigm are then explored from several perspectives: the process of writing and reading; the mechanisms of language combination; the «ideational» content of its «crystallizations» (meanings); and their materiality as linguistic objects. As a result, the paradigm allows us to understand the philosophical import of poetry as a form-of-life inextricably attached to the signifying mechanisms of language.