ArticlesNo. 95, Spring 2013

Editor’s Note


In recent writing on the arts, few words verge on meaninglessness more than “experimental,” and, alas, this issue may do little to rectify this. By placing the pieces collected here under the rubric of the “experimental” I do not wish to inscribe them within a now semi–canonical “experimental tradition”—although some certainly have connections to that by no means unambiguous historical concept. Rather, I use the word to concisely indicate that the diverse array of exceptional pieces published here depart from the stylistic norms of contemporary academic writing. In one sense, this is an overly context–dependent justification. (Since this is a peer–reviewed scholarly journal, does that mean any text appearing in it that does not read like a standard article or book review is experimental?) But it is, anyway, the case that many of the contributors included here are academics of one kind or another, and that academic style constitutes a background against which their pieces can be taken to represent a self–conscious experimentation with form.