A scholarly literary criticism & review of the "Lexinario"

2019

MAKRI-MOREL (Julie), HUMBLEY (John), DURY (Pascaline), BALNAT (Vincent), « Comptes rendus », Neologica, n° 13, 2019, La néologie à l'ère de l'informatique et de la révolution numérique, p. 221-238

DOI : 10.15122/isbn.978-2-406-09663-4.p.0221

Read the paper in French

Read a Spanish translation of the paper

A review and critic from "Forbiden Books"
by Javier Miró

November 23, 2017 
 
Full original title: Lexinario, Dictionary of the ineffable.
 Title of Second Edition: Second extended edition.
Year : 2017 
Published by Plaza y Valdés (1st edition), neolog Eds. (2nd edition)
Genre: Dictionary ?


When your own language is not enough for you

 
In our eagerness to bring you the most alternative, rare, almost that could be said strange works, today we are going to talk about a hybrid being, a book impossible to classify: a dictionary of fiction, because that’s what it is this Lexinario by Javier Enriquez.  It is a sort of compilation of terms that the Mexican author has used in his three previous works. 


 Javier Enriquez (1955, Mexico City) is, in addition to a writer, also a physician, a surgeon and a scientist, lately [an executive] for pharmaceutical companies.  According to his personal website and his Wikipedia page, his work is characterized by a very peculiar style that borders on surrealism.  In his work he uses a huge amount of neologisms he created, in an effort to try to explain complex concepts that never before being explored. 


The latter is what we will find in the Lexinary, an enormous amount of invented terms that come mostly from Castilian -and sound like Spanish-, but have alternative meanings.  Of course, as already happened with other similar works - such as the Coll Dictionary of the 21st century , by José Luis Coll - the fundamental tool for the creation of these words is sense of humor.  Do not expect to die of laughter reading this book. Rather, you will often find among the pages more than one thing that will you smile. 


anempathy. noun. Psychology. 1. Insensitivity to or inability to react to graphic acts of violence and cruelty; generally the effect of pervasive use of exaggerated violence in movies and multimedia. 2. Violesthesia.* 3. Phenacultry.* 4. Empathectomy.*


violesthesia. noun. 1. Unbothered reaction to violence or the suffering of others as a consequence of frequent exposure to them. 2. Action and effect of recurrently perceiving with indifference extreme acts of cruelty and brutality in multimedia. 3. Passive familiarity with torture.


wippour. noun. 1. An abnormal sensation, typically pricking, tingling, and itching while sensing a morbid tranquility when the feeling of power is fused with the feeling of remorse. 2. Anesthetisia.
anestoloid. noun. A person with the absolute inability to reason.


anecstasy. noun. 1. An overwhelming feeling of self-repugnance during extreme states of abhorrence or disdain. 2. An overwhelming feeling of repugnance at one’s own appearance.


Surely there are more terms in this book than those that the author could have been able to use in his novels, since the Lexinary contains than 6,000 definitions.  It seems impossible for all of them to appear in the three novels, since that would make them illegible; it would no longer be a language or anything related to a known language.  Or maybe that was the intention of the author from the beginning: to invent an excuse to sell an extra book -the Lexinary- to his readers.  Well, that does not make much sense.  What is more logical is to consult the Lexinary once one is already familiar with his writings and wants to immerse more profoundly in the philological world he has created.  For this same reason, I find it unlikely that this dictionary may prompt anyone to start reading Javier Enriquez’s novels. 


As the author himself states in the introduction of the Lexinary, his intention of writing with invented words is of creating a symphony of words that, when read or heard, provoke an aesthetic pleasure simulating music and to awaken new, straphalaric sensations in the readers' minds and a unique interpretation in those who perceive them. It does not seem like a simple or a modest goal.  Whether achieving this goal or not, what we must highlight is the impressive work done to come up with the words, give them meaning and internal coherence -which the book really looks like a professional dictionary- and invent so many other words to fill in the gaps to reach that tremendous figure of more than 6,000 definitions in 292 pages. Could that be a waste of such monstrous creativity?


magnefic. adjective. 1. Causing harm or destruction with magnets. 2. Performing magnetic bewitchment.
klobsten. noun. 1. A force with an apparent magnetic field that forms around two fleeting lovers.


wogren. adjective. 1. Having the capability to offend or irritate with innovative insults. 2. Creative foulmouthedness. 3. Majaderic.


kortick. noun. 1. An error a man makes when doing something that a woman told him to do and not what she wished or meant for him to do. 2. Malcertitude. 3. Parasimiladia. 4. Malandrosis.


jable. verb. 1. To persuade someone with consummate ease. 2. To change, without breaking, the shape of something not easily malleable. 3. Malleat.*


malleate. verb. Physics. 1. To mold or manipulate something without changing form or behavior. Psychology. 2. To mold or manipulate someone without changing his or her form or behavior.
Taking the dictionary game to another level 


Surely you know the game “dictionary,” which in different countries may have distinct names.  It is a game in which random words are chosen from a dictionary and a person has to choose the true meaning of the word from the true definition along with definitions made up by other players. I use this for my creative writing classes as it is great fun, quite simple and tremendously effective.  The only drawback I see is if you play this game with a philologist or language wizard with some imagination, then, you are lost.  Well, the solution to that game in such circumstances is to play with the Lexinary, since it is impossible for anyone to know the definition of a word in advance and, as has already been proven with the examples cited above, it is quite improbable to guess their meaning.


To get a copy of the Lexinary click here

THE LEXINARY OF JAVIER ENRÍQUEZ SERRALDE

Carlos Herrera de la Fuente, Doctor of Philosophy

Sometimes languages ​​seem to stop: different literatures, which should undoubtedly be their unmistakable spokespersons, suddenly fall into a lasting torpor, symbol of a pause between one era and another, or of a simple fatigue after a period of time. creative heyday. These are difficult times, in which established patterns tend to repeat themselves and searches dry up. From these artistic potholes we only manage to extract certain solitary efforts that, due to their disruptive and irreverent vocation, due to their undeniable love for the diverse and irreducible that exists in the language, are called to become symbols of a new era. I would like to think, without anticipating the judgment of the readers, that Javier Enríquez Serralde's Lexinario is called to shake up many things that were asleep in our language and to awaken a sincere interest in risking leaving the comfortable borders in which we have become accustomed to write and to live.

The first thing that surprises in Javier Enríquez Serralde's works is his commitment to the language. This statement may seem incompatible with a work full of neologisms and violations of Spanish grammar. It's not like that. All true commitment is measured by the fidelity to the object or subject in question, beyond the rules that limit and govern it. This fidelity and this commitment are expressed, in the case of Enríquez Serralde, in the demand that he imposes on the Spanish language to say more than he himself believes he is capable of saying; in other words: in his love for the inexhaustible of the language. Enríquez Serralde's company is that of someone who observes the momentary fatigue in which his language is engulfed and undertakes to get it out of it (even in spite of it); It is the company of those who assume that every language is a constant creation, perpetual change and unlimited joy of words; It is, more than commitment to what has already been done, love for what is to be done, for what is to be said and thought. Commitment to the future: work as a poet.

Whoever immerses himself in the pages of the Lexinary will have to find a possible world that lives in our language. With a parallel world and language as legitimate as any other. In them there is laughter, sadness, intelligence, loneliness, emotions, fatigue, abuse, grief, etc., as in our world and in our language. Their definitions present us with a reality that, in its difference, tells us about ours in an unexpected way. Reading the Lexinary is, at the same time, escape and return. Escape from us just to find ourselves. Dreaming of other worlds to dream of ourselves in a different way. Learn to imagine. The Lexinario is a call to give free rein to our imagination. May someone heed this call.

Mexico City, May 28, 2013.

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