On the Lapidary Style

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“The lapidary style” suggests a manner of writing that runs close to working a material—carving lettering into rock, cutting a gem into fine facets. Poised between the properties of the stone and of the jewel, this term holds the tensions of stone’s solidity and light’s refraction. This discussion will range over the curious nature of this style, its virtues of concision and incisiveness, and what it might say about the “materiality” of language. The “lapidary” shows us the profound implication of a gestural style with meaning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-36
Number of pages20
Journaldifferences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • lapidary style
  • inscription
  • poetry
  • memorial
  • concision

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