essay · textiles in literature

The Lessons of Craft

In the college English courses I teach, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey form our core texts. Students write in response to the timeless stories and use the speeches of Achilles, Nestor, Ajax, and, of course, Odysseus as lessons in rhetoric. These lessons are particularly rich in the¬†Odyssey, as cunning Odysseus must talk his way into favor… Continue reading The Lessons of Craft

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essay · textiles in literature

A clew to the past

"Desynonymy" is the curious term Samuel Taylor Coleridge applies to the growth of human languages. In Chapter IV of his Biographia Literaria¬† (1817), Coleridge argues that "in all societies there exists an instinct of growth, a certain collective, unconscious good sense working progressively to desynonymize those words originally of the same meaning [...]." Similar divisions… Continue reading A clew to the past