16th Annual Graduate Student Conference
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Western University, Canada
Keynote speakers: Luca Somigli (University of Toronto); Mark McDayter (Western University).
“Cuando despertó, el dinosaurio todavía estaba allí” [When (s)he woke up, the dinosaur was still there]. This is the entirety of a 1959 short story by Augusto Monterroso. It could easily fit in a Twitter status update almost three times over.
Brevity can be interpreted in many different ways – from a sense of briefness and urgency to an economization of words. At times, brevity may be perceived as superficial or frivolous, except to those of Spartan sensibilities. To others, such as Polonius, “brevity is the soul of wit [/ And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, / I will be brief: your noble son is mad]” (II, ii).
Brevity can also allow us to linger on thought. In his memo on quickness, Italo…
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