This article brings together print-material histories (from typesetting and typewriting to Twitter) to consider such seemingly disparate textual practices as concrete poetry, Twitter bots, Insta-poetry, and political tweets. With initial attention to Donald Trump’s infamous “covfefe” tweet and Aram Saroyan’s equally notorious “lighght,” this article explores the inscriptive and interpretive contexts and the social and political consequences of these texts. Exploring the poetics of political tweets and the politics of concrete poetry, the article establishes a framework that is neither purely literary nor purely political in nature but, rather, explores and examines inscription and media themselves. Turning in its final moments to contemporary Insta-poetry, the article ultimately considers the subjectivities and socialities enabled by print materiality, from typewritten text to digital social media.
“lighght” and “covfefe”: reading media and misspellings from mimeo to twitterverse
Andrew Rippeon teaches in the College Writing Program at David-son College and specializes in recent and contemporary poetry and poetics and print-material culture. His edition of Larry Eigner’s letters to Jonathan Williams, Letters to Jargon: The Correspondence between Larry Eigner and Jonathan Williams, was published in 2019.
Andrew Rippeon; “lighght” and “covfefe”: reading media and misspellings from mimeo to twitterverse. the minnesota review 1 November 2020; 2020 (95): 57–92. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00265667-8623742
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