Richard Dawson

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My experience of reading Jack Sammons has resembled an OE [overseas experience]. In particular, I became aware of some taken-for-granted language that can conceal important dynamics in our engagement with language. I had explicitly identified some virtues relating to exercising "control" over language but had, as Sammons suggested, neglected possible vices. In order to avoid these vices, I could alter attention from "control" to "play," in the sense of a movement that can combine control with the out-of-control. (There are some virtues associated with the out-of-control, such as openness and receptivity.). Such play does not lend itself well to a dictionary-style definition, for it is a creative process in which a person is experiencing shifts of consciousness.