Dictionary of the Possible redefines how people view a dictionary but changing the definition from a word’s meaning to what emotions and scenarios it evokes. For example, when the word, “amateur” is defined, the text discusses the societal impact of amateur, it’s feminine connotation, and it’s relationship to other words that are no necessarily defined. In fact, each definition provides more questions than answers, which completely flips the idea of what a dictionary is supposed to be.
I thought it was interesting as well that most the definitions has an undercurrent of feminism speech and injustice interwoven in the dynamic. Amnesia is transformed from a condition, to an intentional forgetting, and the wave of feminism that is in it’s fifth reincarnation is attributed not just to humanity’s inability to see women as equals, but the active forgetting associated with things one finds abhorrent or pushes oneself into a realization they’d rather not have. Other definitions have a prose like meter. The definition of comrades is assembled in a series of short sentences, some not even fully sentences, in which the emotion of having a comrade or associations one might have with a comrade are explored. “To be safe but not saved,” is a particularly potent line, in which I believe it strongly suggests a true comrade is on equal footing with their companion. “Transgress together the neatly trimmed lawn” reminds me of a saying where a good friend will bail you out of jail, but a great friend will be in the cell with you. Comrade also delves into more romantic iterations, such as “a warmth to fold into” evoking comfort and vulnerability.
The dictionary continues all the way to zero, where the text discusses “Ground Zero” and it’s impact globally and within the community as an ultimate “pock” that cannot be removed. With this comparison, the nothingness and desolation of the word zero, to be without anything, to be void, is enhanced. In this way I can see how effective this dictionary was in making the readers think more deeply about words and how they can be used. The number zero was “redefined as a zone of silence.” which is horrifying but also not without hope. In the same vein, it is also a place where possibilities are endless because the space has no limits.
-Sydney, Week 5