ANALEKTA: Semantic Texts

Analekta Semantic Texts Todd Pendu

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ANALEKTA: Semantic Texts is an ongoing unfinished work in a constant state of revision and transition published under nom de plume, T. Brooks. The first version was printed in 1998 as ‘Transition Syntax’. The work then became longer and more involved and in June of 2001, fifty-one texts were published and released to the public via

“This is not automatic writing. This is not a search for meaning in the subconscious. This is not general arbitrariness. I am not writing as much as arranging. These pieces come from a long arduous, eclectic process that is partially formalist and partially expressionist. First, the process begins as spontaneous writing limited by the exclusion of most adjectives with emotional connotations and gender-specific words. In the second step, the words from that session or series of sessions are plugged into self-designed grids and semiotical, pseudo-mathematical permutations. You could call these chambers “word machines” whose role is to spit out generative compositions with the intent to limit the intervention of the author’s ego into the final outcome. This helps to dissolve the words of their conventional meaning/intent and disturb the seemingly natural poetic sense of symmetrical balance of assonance/dissonance. It also provides an important key to the work by subverting the conventional paradigmatic and syntagmatic relationships of words; in other words, it uses word substitution as a form of aesthetic wordplay. In the third step, the words are released from the grids and forced groupings partially breaking free of the machine but still working somewhat within its constraints and are placed into visually aesthetic spatial arrangements of silence and noise, clutter and emptiness. This process also includes reading the work aloud and moving like sounds with like, independent of meaning which gives a sing-song feeling to the words. Fourth and finally, in a writer-as-editor mode, I begin reading the nearly-completed spatially arranged texts and once again make changes occasionally adding or subtracting or substituting a word here or there in an intuitive frenzy, making changes with limited second guessing, loosening the grip of the analytical process of the work, and relying solely on intuitive judgment. No looking back. Close the book. It is finished. Because of the detachment that occurs throughout this nearly mechanized art process, I, the author, am rendered nearly invisible and the texts are read as foreign to myself, the writer, as they do to you, the reader. The result is an holistic Conceptual, Visual, and Musical work.”

Inspired by previous experiments found in Alfred Jarry’s Pataphysics, Lewis Carroll’s Logic Games, Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades, Gertrude Stein’s "Tender Buttons", Ad Reinhardt’s "Art is Art as Art", Sol Lewitt’s "Paragraphs on Conceptual Art", Zukofsky’s "A", Raymond Queneau’s OuLiPo, Stefan Themerson’s "Semantic Poems", Dada, etc…etc…etc.

A Few Word Games:

A). Anthimeria or verbification. Change nouns into conversion-verbs.
Example: ‘table‘: A lamp tables a chair.

B). Break up a single word into two words; a subject and a conversion-verb.
Example: ‘windowsills‘: A ‘window sills‘ a gesture.

C). Use definite or indefinite articles as Proper Nouns or Names.
Example: ‘A‘ goes outside to play or I saw "The" playing outside.

D). Use an anagram of the word rather than the word you thought of originally.
Example, instead of using the word ‘this‘, use the word ‘hits

E). Take a simple word and expand it semi-anagrammatically.
Example: theatre: at the heat there

F). Provide instructions with imperative sentences for nonsensical / intangible structures.
Example: Lift the imagine forking right to left.

G). Assonance and Homonym; Write an ordinary sentence and then replace all of the words with similar sounding words forgetting the context of meaning but retaining conventional sentence structure.
Example: This sentence makes sense in that it has a subject and verb and completes a thought.

Now, rewrite the sentence to say: Shit admittance snakes fence syntactic bay objects and fern sleet rot. (Or nearly unlimited substitution permutations.)

H). Create non-sensical imaginary objects or objects that refer only to the imaginary.
Example: Molded pink transmission on the weather.

I.) Ironic non-sensical jargon.

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