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BY 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2018

Wor(l)dplay: Reflections on a writing-experience

From the book Cultures and Traditions of Wordplay and Wordplay Research

Astrid Poier-Bernhard


In my essay, I take a personal writing-experience as the starting point for some general reflections on wordplay. I think that the discussion of wordplay requires an ‘aesthetic’ or ‘integral’ approach to the phenomenon. This means that not only the mechanisms but the experience of wordplay must be taken in consideration. Ideally wordplay provokes a ‘pleasure of the text’ or even an instant of ‘jouissance’ (R. Barthes), because it makes us experience the playfulness of language, mind and world at once. Intentional wordplay can bring us in touch with another notion of play, the ‘play which happens’ or ‘worldplay’ - a notion I use here to describe the vivid experience of a complex and combinatorial interaction of any ‘elements’, and which is close to the notion of ‘creativity’ and the experience of a ‘freshness of mind’.

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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