‘Damn mad’

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Palindromes are chiastic figurations that arrest the habitual tempo-linear sequence of language and, in so doing, focus attention on the very act of signification. In narrative, they often prove pivotal for the overall structure of the text, going far beyond mere wordplay or verbal virtuosity. Because they can be read both backwards and forwards, palindromes emerge as multilayered, multidirectional, and polytemporal mappings reflecting the notorious instability of human lives, where the ever shifting present oscillates between the past and the future. In contemporary fiction, such palindromic vacillation becomes an iconic representation of temporal shifting, allowing us to discern the texture of temporality, not as abstractly conceived but as concretely lived and hence as innovatively performing an unstable present.


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