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Old 08-13-2009, 11:20 AM   #1
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A Self-Referential Story

Read it through, if you got a few spare minutes:

http://consc.net/misc/moser.html or here

The first couple of paragraphs:

Quote:
A story by David Moser...

This Is the Title of This Story, Which Is Also Found Several Times in the Story Itself

This is the first sentence of this story. This is the second sentence. This is the title of this story, which is also found several times in the story itself. This sentence is questioning the intrinsic value of the first two sentences. This sentence is to inform you, in case you haven't already realized it, that this is a self-referential story, that is, a story containing sentences that refer to their own structure and function. This is a sentence that provides an ending to the first paragraph.

This is the first sentence of a new paragraph in a self-referential story. This sentence is introducing you to the protagonist of the story, a young boy named Billy. This sentence is telling you that Billy is blond and blue-eyed and American and twelve years old and strangling his mother. This sentence comments on the awkward nature of the self- referential narrative form while recognizing the strange and playful detachment it affords the writer. As if illustrating the point made by the last sentence, this sentence reminds us, with no trace of facetiousness, that children are a precious gift from God and that the world is a better place when graced by the unique joys and delights they bring to it.

This sentence describes Billy's mother's bulging eyes and protruding tongue and makes reference to the unpleasant choking and gagging noises she's making. This sentence makes the observation that these are uncertain and difficult times, and that relationships, even seemingly deep-rooted and permanent ones, do have a tendency to break down.

....

Last edited by ahi; 08-14-2009 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:25 AM   #2
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Unreadable - even without marginal page numbers .
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:30 AM   #3
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Unreadable - even without marginal page numbers .
Rewarding though, if you still manage to read it through.
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:33 AM   #4
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Is it gone?
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:48 AM   #5
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Is it gone?
It shouldn't be... but if the server is being uncooperative, try this link to Google's cache:

A Self-Referential Story
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:26 PM   #6
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I love this!

I'm reminded of these two Postmodernist writers, who both dealth in nothing less than the epistemological aspects of Language in their storytelling.

Gilbert Sorrentino
Claude Simon

Wonderful!


Don

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Old 08-19-2009, 04:19 AM   #7
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This sentence is proud of how clever it is.

Last edited by Mathlete; 05-02-2010 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:59 AM   #8
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This was interesting! And as I read it, I could hear the story being read to me - that was sort of odd...

I'm not sure what to think about it yet, except I liked it. Thanks very much for the link, ahi.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:49 PM   #9
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Glad you liked it, Ea!

Is that a hint of anti-intellectualism, Mathlete?
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahi View Post
Glad you liked it, Ea!

Is that a hint of anti-intellectualism, Mathlete?
Methinks you are right about Mathlete's post. That puts a funny spin to my experience of reading it, as it was not primarily an intellectual experience, more a sensory one of 'hearing' it read out loud. Not literally hearing it, but the sensation of hearing - if that makes sense

I would consider this a work of art, and my best experiences with art have not been especially intellectual. It's been more about the sensations, emotions, and ideas that you can experience if you try to still your mind for a bit. And after, you can think about it, too. I know very little theory, but this text seems to be about words as signs, and the use of signs and our reactions to signs.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ea View Post
I would consider this a work of art, and my best experiences with art have not been especially intellectual. It's been more about the sensations, emotions, and ideas that you can experience if you try to still your mind for a bit. And after, you can think about it, too. I know very little theory, but this text seems to be about words as signs, and the use of signs and our reactions to signs.
I agree. I know no theory at all, and art to me is purely sensations. All I can usually say is "hate", "like" or "love", and the Self-Referential Story, I loved!

Thank Ahi!
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