The many-tongued froth of words

Finally getting around to reading Linebaugh and Rediker's The Many-Headed Hydra after too much delay. However, as I bought a used copy from an online bookseller that falsely described it as "Like New", a copy which is marked by arbitrary underlining and even more arbitrary infrequent marginalia that peter out after the first 60 pages, I was treated to this (the quote from the book, followed by the reader's pencilled-in comment):

"It also owes much to the violence of abstraction in the writing of history, the severity of history that has long been the captive of the nation-state, which remains in most studies the largely unquestioned framework of analysis. This is a book about connections that have, over the centuries, usually been denied, ignored, or simply not seen, but that nonetheless profoundly shaped the history of the world in which we all of us live and die."

(and written in by previous owner)

They wrote the book

I won't speculate on the type of person who wrote this note. Rather, what staggers me is this kind of reading, that evidently skitters along from word to every-so-often-word, therein picking up the supposed claim that the book is about connections that the authors deny or ignore, perhaps because their unquestioned framework of analysis does not allow them to.

As such, I wonder if we need to discover a mode of writing that anticipates such haphazard speed-glossing, forgoing Linebaugh and Rediker's clear, urgent prose for a mode of turgid, overwrought writing, overly dense sentences that can only bring about the practice of sloppy and inconstant skimming, sentences within which we will code properly subversive, fervent revolutionary thoughts to worm their way into the minds of inattentive readers everywhere.

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