Reviews

Sign After the X

S. K. Page

Marina Roy is the author of Sign After the X (Advance/Artspeak), an entertaining and pretentious volume devoted to the twenty-fourth letter of the alphabet; no more information about her is offered by the publisher, who seems to find in a mere name sufficient confirmation of authorship.

But readers will demand to know more of Ms. Roy, and not unreasonably. Where is she from? Where has she been? Does she own goldfish? These are precisely the questions that such a work, with its faux scholarship and its wide range of what might be called x-reading, invokes in readers who will wish to know everything about an author who devotes so much attention to a single element of the alphabet.

She fails to refer to Dr. Johnson’s dictionary of 1773, in which the following sentence, seeming to betoken a grander and a much simpler age, is found: “X is a letter, which, though found in Saxon words, begins no word in the English language.”

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