Roget’s Illusion

Longlist, National Book Awards 2014 for Poetry

Roget's Illusion
ISBN 9780399165467
G. P. Putnam's Sons/ Penguin Group (USA)

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He is best known for his Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases, but among filmmakers Roget is better known for his explanation of the optical illusion that still bedevils them: Why does a wheel moving forward always seem on film to be running backward? For Linda Bierds, the illusion also refers to our relationship to language, to our belief that words hold something more than their definitions. Why do we strive to articulate the world even as we know this is a shifting and illusory pursuit? Why do we continue to seek perfection, pursue beauty, yearn for immortality? Roget’s Illusion offers no answer. It simply shows the striving.