Marc Norbert Hörler: Phonemic Transmutation: Healing, World-Making and Glamour in Performances of Enchantment


Advisor/tutor: Hypatia Vourloumis

July 2020


"Phonemic Transmutation" investigates the linguistics and poetics of performances of enchantment. At the centre of this investigation lies an understanding of poetry as spells, the friction of linguistics as resonating paralinguistically on sensory levels beyond the visual and the aural, and the magicoalchemical potential for transmutation that lies in these performances of enchantment. The thesis reflects on three main aspects. Firstly, it draws upon queer and feminist writing, its entanglement with the alphabet and the motif of the broken open. Secondly, it explicates a thinking together of Swiss rural praying healers and pre-modern Caribbean ritual practitioners and lastly it proposes poetry as a ritual practice for queer world-making. This thesis is indebted to and draws upon queer, feminist and decolonial thought to create a space for opaque coexistence in difference. It does this by pursuing a necessarily haptic writing, a writing that resists linearity and the architecture of grammar. This embodied form of writing enacts the theoretical concerns proposed by the thesis eschewing binaries between language and the somatic, mind and body, and makes palpable the. holistic ecology of phonemic transmutations.