The Indexer’s Lament

A is for alienation and art;

B is for Baumgarten, Beattie, and Barthes.

C is for Carroll (Noël not Lewis),

D is for disbelief (God, get me through this!)

E is for Empson, engrossment, enchantment,

Estrangement effects and also entrancement.

F is for fantasy, feeling and Feynman,

G is for Gottsched (nicht ein Kleiner Mann).*

H is for hoaxing, hoodwinking, Hume;

I is for Indexing, please be done soon.

J is for Johnson (Claudia and Sam),

K is for Kant, whom I can’t understand.

L is for Leibniz;

M is for memes;

N is for nothing is all that it seems.

O is for odd;

P is for plot;

Q is for something but what, I’ve forgot.

R is for reading, Ricoeur and Richetti,

S is for Socrates, Sterne and Spaghetti.

(Actually, I lie, there are really no noodles;

But narrative strands? Of those, there are oodles.)

T is for Taste and my darling Tom Jones;

U is for U guys, don’t leave me alone!

V is for vulgar, virtual and viral;

W is wonder, the heart of this spiral.

It’s complex, you see, it’s both marvel and doubt;

But X, X is just what you think it’s about.

Y is for why oh why oh why;

Z is for Žižek: my hero! No lie.

* In his autobiography, Goethe describes Gottsched as “that tall, broad, gigantic man.” (See The Auto-biography of Goethe: Truth and Poetry: From My Own Life Vol. 1 trans. John Oxenford (Cambridge; first published 1848, reprinted 2013), p.226.)


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