Book Review: The White

Our external reviewer Chris is back with a review for us. He has been a little MIA traveling the world but alas we are all stuck at home now so he had some time to do some reading. This one was called The White: The Tensurrealist Play by Lepota L. Cosmo.

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A short summary of The White:

‘Twas brillig, and the worpy twerbs did grye and gimble on the lage.

A longer summary:

In 1996, physics professor Alan Sokal submitted a paper to the academic journal Social Text, which published papers in postmodern cultural studies. Sokal’s paper, titled “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity”, proposed that quantum gravity is a social and linguistic construct. His paper was accepted and published.

Three weeks later Sokal revealed that the article was a hoax. He had made a “word salad” by taking the most often used words in post-modernist writings and stringing them together to make full sentences. Everything he wrote was nonsense yet it had been published in a post-modernist journal because it sounded good to the editors, and flattered their ideological preconceptions. There is now a Sokal Hoax Generator that generates nonsense that sounds like it might mean something. See http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/.

A real poor version of the Sokal generator is the “Word Salad Generator”, which takes the poem lines “There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold” and turns them into “WERE YALE ARRANGE WRINGS ANNE AH APE MIDNIGHT BUG BUG WE BED ZOO BAIL WORD BOND”. http://cadrpear.tx0.org/wordsalad/salad.html

The White reads like it was produced by the word salad generator that has English as a second language. Lest you think I exaggerate see the screen captures.

Some of the words aren’t recognizable as words although admittedly they’d make perfectly cromulent words that would embiggen your vocabulary at the next cocktail party as you casually say, “Please pass me some of the frapant fruit”. And there are some phrases that would make for some good band, blog, or book names: flowers of abomination, ornamental collectivism, blood of conteiner [sic], and dogs smashed mirrors.

Capitalization and punctuation are used or not used rather randomly. At times, parts almost seem to make sense (spelling errors in the original):

(Speakers emphise the words. Every word is energy,

gesture, phenomenon. extension of sense imposed by

previous speaker. Talk between words,

not between statements, the dialogue of notions. One word. One man. One concept. Which fits, in sense of others. There is cohesion, coherence of words. Words in divergent communion. Divergence.)

before lapsing into a column of seemingly unassociated words and phrases.

Other parts have a common theme although they still don’t make sense, and have strange spelling errors that may be intentional or accidental: “Theatre of inarticulated signs. Theatre of articlulation” (bold added). That last word could be a clever combination of “articulation” and “ululation” similarly to the words Lewis Carroll uses in his nonsense poem Jabberwocky that still convey meaning despite being made up. , “’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves, Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;”

However, it is unclear whether bits of brilliance like this are intentional or were random accidents similar to the analogy of a room of monkeys banging on keyboards might accidentally produce a line of Shakespeare.

It could be that this work is far beyond what my brain can grasp without an altered consciousness experience. Maybe someone else would read it and find illumination, discover understanding, and go beyond the boundaries of their mind. Maybe if read in a beat poem rhythm listeners would gain enlightenment.

But, for most of us we wouldn’t find any value in reading it.

Book Rating: 1/5 stars.

You can find this book on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format by the author to read and give an honest review.


Check out this book called Dork by my author friend Will Winkle about a guy trying to get his crush’s attention while navigating his life as part of a fraternity house!

His book can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, and his website: WillWinkle.com.

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What did you read in March? Here are all the books I read and what I thought about them!

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