Abstract

abstract:

This essay explores Kling’s poem as a particularly revealing example of his notion of Sprachkörper, which interweaves word history with cultural and natural history. Whereas the earth sciences, in their preoccupation with the large-scale time of the planet, can paradoxically illumine the historical present of the city, language sciences, such as paleography and philology, can reflect on the present historical condition of poetic language. These temporal stratifications are figured by semantic ones. Words bear a surplus of signification and point to Kling’s linguistic intemperance. This intemperance is the site of both semantic plenitude and impenetrability; it is where Kling’s scientific practice of language and his atavistic poetics intersect.

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