Monday, March 19, 2012

Word of the day: ouroboros

The word of the day is ouroboros:

Etymology:  < Greek οὐροβόρος, also οὐρη-, devouring its tail
The symbol, usu. in the form of a circle, of a snake (or dragon) eating its tail. (OED)

"The pleasure of the book comes from its descriptive daring -- Billie Holiday's voice sounds 'evacuated'; the evolution of media is envisioned as an ouroboros ('The book bit his tail and became a / disc') -- and from Mackey's refusal to decipher his narrative: 'Nonallegorical ground it / was we stood on.'"

 - "Books Briefly Noted", of Nathaniel Mackey's Nod House, 13 & 20 February 2012 The New Yorker

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