As one wanders through a forest, the leaves and branches of ancient oak trees respectively whispering and creaking above one, as the slats of light slide through the slits in those self-
The simple answer is that many societies have shunned logs as being ‘down on the ground, short and round’
Logs are only really known to humans as a result of their (that is, logs’) close association with beavers. Canadian explorers befriended beavers in the early 17th century, learning their snuffly language and adapting to their customs. It was this chance event that catapulted logs over and through the psychic barrier that Homo sapiens had so long set up against them and established the log as a primary artefact in human society, as opposed to an object of fear.
Since then, logs have gone from strength to strength. We can now log incidents in a report (itself, incredibly, also known as a log); we can log in and out of a computer (but not yet up, down, around or through
However, in no field has the log had more influence than in language studies. Where texts were once uniform, basic, truncated, simplex and dull, the log has given human written communication a nuance and complexity that Shakespeare, Dante and Cervantes could only dream of. Specifically, those bastions of textuality, the prologue and epilogue, are now so much part of our written communicative cultural inheritance that we scarcely remember that there was a time when plays simply began at the beginning, leaving the audience to figure out the whole context for itself
Here at SpecGram, we’ve been enjoying prologues and epilogues for many years. We have our yearly prologue-
[This is a mesologue. I’m taking a short break from writing this to have a cup of tea and a biscuit.]
So, at SpecGram we’re declaring the 2020s to be the Decade of the Mesologue. After the resounding success of our celebration of the cedilla during the 2010s which engendered corridor chats, several occasional comments, some brief notes on at least one or two occasions, a meeting or two and a first draft of a few articlettes, we’re confident that assigning the next decade to the yet-
So, send in your mesologues! Create some mesologues for well known texts, anything from Kafka to the Mr Men books; send us a paper on comparative mesologueography; take the historical perspective and analyse the emergence and spread of mesologues. Or, for the courageous, why not venture into metamesologoegraphy and report on the use of mesologues within prologues and epilogues, a field ripe for harvesting. Again, for those on the creative end of the scale, why not attempt what no writer has ever achieved before and send in a mesologue2: that fabulous beast that is a mesologue with its own self-
The list is endless and the challenge epic! We have the newly formed Mesologue Analysis Department (MAD) on standby to review, rate and respond to the thousands of mesologues that we’re expecting. Get your mesologue hats on and get busy!