Verbàlia. Jocs de paraules i esforços de l’ingeni literari

Verbàlia | Empúries, 2000

A word game is a fortuitous clash of words with a momentary loss of the meanings. It is a verbal run-in that generates such irrational impulses as humans when they fall in love.

Because the clash becomes a game, we need to ensure that the words involved do not escape unharmed. That is the only way we can talk about a word game as a discovery. The pleasure of playing with words goes back to the beginning of time: a little known fine line links the mystery of the Sphinx, the methods of the Cabala, the artifice of baroque poetry, irreverent and avant-garde games and the newspaper crossword.

Language offer great scope for games and all of us play at one time or another, even if we do not know what a logogriph is, or an anagram, or a calembour, or a lipogram, a palindrome or a paronomasia. Màrius Serra has mapped an impressive unknown territory; the country of Verbalia. Here you will find documented ludolinguistic texts by poets, artists, teachers and advertisers, mystics, enigmatists and writers – especially in Catalan but also in the other official languages of Verbalia, such as English, Spanish, French and Italian. If you enter the territory of the Verbivors, you will discover that the word games may be untranslatable, but the mechanisms that generate them are universal.