Expand your vocabulary

Since returning from Chicago I've 1) finished Gaddis's The Recognitions and 2) moved to an amazing new apartment with lots of light that's within walking distance to everything I need. These two challenges battled with each other: painting the yellowed flaking windows and reading another section of Gaddis were equally pressing tasks. But both are finally done. The Gaddis was tremendous and its ending was, somehow, perfect. (No spoilers! But the novel does not disappoint, even if Franzen thinks Gaddis is too difficult. -- Warning: Franzen's essay contains major spoilers.) The book has made me think about the closure strategies of long long novels, and how the biggies of the 20th century all seem to do it differently: UlyssesRecognitions, Gravity's RainbowInfinite Jest. Maybe there's an article there for when I'm writing about length and Blanchot. Put that on the shelf of a vaguely distant future.

 I've moved on to Nicolas Abraham's Rhythms, a really interesting and weird book that develops a phenomenology of literature and an account of rhythm via phenomenology and psychoanalysis. (He's a somewhat obscure Hungarian-born French psychoanalyst doing all sorts of things with Husserl and Freud and more.) It will, I think, be crucial for when I begin to write. And the book is challenging, which I like: I have to follow him slowly, with lots of questions scribbled in the margin, and a looming uncertainty about how each piece will work toward the overall goal. I do not know my way around, and he must lead me, carefully, into his thought. This essay, "Outline of a Phenomenology of Poetic Expression," wobbles between Husserl and quite often seems to anticipate Luhmann. Perhaps I will be able to say more later. 

In any case, I thought I'd just post the vocabulary list I accumulated while reading The Recognitions. At some point, I'll go through and get all the definitions. The Reader's Guide by Steven Moore includes some of these, but not all. I already knew some, like inspissated, which Gaddis has to get from T. S. Eliot's Dante essay - I've never seen the word elsewhere, and Eliot is a huge influence. So:

8 chasuble
9 crenelations, machicolations, bartizans
10 geophagous
11 caudillos
12 bóveda 
13 calcimine
14 remontant
25 fainaiguing
29 magot
32 Kyrie eleison
73 sardonyx
74 lavabo
? dehiscence
? foulard
? gimbals
? binnacle
282 estaminets (from Eliot)
293 umzimbiti
295 jalousies
299 comatulid
299 crinoid
304 insipience
307 cuspidor
311 crapulous
319 Fenestrula
320 paretic
322 cacodaemonic
326 jabot
329 cucumiform
398 consentanous
399 inspissated (from Eliot)
399 hypostasis
404 volitive
412 benisons
415 disfigurated
419 vilipended
420 abscissa
430 paraselene
454 vernissage
482 icunabular
486 withershins
490 eserine
495 foramina
503 terebinth
523 sycosis
544 epinastic
545 talitha cumi
548 shrived
561 nostology
564 extravasated
564 hebetude
564 challis
621 rasorial
626 limicolous
628 hapteric
628 semaphored
630 rasceta
634 lupercalia
639 scoria
661 pelagion
673 catoptric
679 taces
695 strabismic
728 pleached
741 gnathic
759 frabjously
802 juerga
803 acarajotada
839 sciamachy
862 retablo
877 ghoum
942 spavined
942 spaved
945 despumated