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02 June 2009

Denotation/connotation

One has two n's the other has three. There may be more than this to distinguish them. I wrote earlier about Ashbery's skipping over the denotation stage. He doesn't always do it, by the way, but Ez does, and so, I suppose, does T S Eliot. Is there some distinction between the community of those who can understand a denotation - essentially those who share the language - and those who can share a connotation? Clearly there is, and this must be a key reason modernist poetry is seen as elitist. Is that (a) inevitable and (b) regrettable?

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