Word Ways


Lawrence Levine


The long voyage between my first tentative effort at constructing a short palindrome of some forty letters, and the eventual completion of a palindromic novel numbering 31,594 words (or approximately 104,000 letters) some twenty years later, was an unrelenting lesson in many disciplines. There were lessons in trial and error, in logic, in vocabulary, in syntactics, and a wide-ranging lexical development that I never thought possible. Although I had always considered myself a more than ordinary lover of my native language, I had never before realized how metamorphic and submissive was this extraordinary English tongue, until the day I began manipulating its words, letter by letter, for palindromic composition.