Speeches from the Converged Territories: Mechanical Translations Across Language-Time
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“Speeches” is a creative work of conceptual writing which explores the meaning and construction of Donald Trump’s use of language in politics. Conceptual writing is a style characterized by the manipulation of form and context of pre-existing works instead of composition of new material. The conceptual strategy of replacing words with others is uniquely suited to President Trump’s speeches. In this work, the President’s vocabulary has been swapped for that of the Goldwater era, the era of both his youth and of prevalent American populism. Because of the President’s distinctive locutionary style, the language of his speeches has been edited mechanically, separating words and their individual meanings from the contextual support grammatical construction lends. The theme of the significance of individual words is developed over a chronological collection of world events, the translated speeches standing side-by-side with their original counterparts. Drawing forward the language of the past is an investigation of the potential realization of the refrain “Make America Great Again” in the present. It is a critique by way of laying bare the mosaic meaning of language without the confusion of situational political contexts or the linguistic contexts of the speeches themselves.