"Hapax Legomena" at CBU 

How many times, over and under, will Cory Dugan have to explain what hapax legomena is at the opening Friday night for "Hapax Legomena"? "Fifty times," he says.

According to Wikipedia, because I certainly did not know, hapax legomena (sing. hapax legomenon) is a word that occurs only once within a context, either in the written record of an entire language, in the works of an author, or in a single text.

The paintings and video of the exhibition use hapax legomena from texts such as John Donne's Holy Sonnets, Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, and the complete dramatic works of Shakespeare. However, Dugan is quick to point out there is much debate among academics whether Shakespeare is using a hapax or a nonce, meaning a made up word. "Aren't all words made up?" I ask. "It is a little esoteric," he says. I wonder what the over and under is for the number of people who actually debate that. We can keep it at 50.

click to enlarge Say what?
  • Say what?

With the Shakespeare text, Dugan created his first video art piece, incorporating elements from Orson Welles' Othello. "The dramas seemed to suggest it; Shakespeare needed it," Dugan added.

He also uses specific books in the Hebrew Christian New Testament, but Dugan states, "I do not know what the words are. It is completely visual to me."

Well, that got me wondering, how does one find out the hapax legomena of a text if you do not even know the language? "There is an app for that," Dugan says. Of course.


Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

News Blog

Pence Cancels Memphis Visit

Fly On The Wall Blog

MAF Has a New Meaning: Memphis Ass Farm

News Blog

Alexander to TVA: Don't Buy Wind Power

Intermission Impossible

Hattiloo Announces Season 12: August Wilson, Lynn Nottage, Soul Train...

News Blog

Memphis Theological Seminary Stands with Refugees

News Blog

Fight Over Forrest Statue Isn't Over

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Dwayne Butcher

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation