Diction in Atomik Aztex

November 15, 2011

Throughout Sesshu Foster’s Atomik Aztex, the homodiegetic narrator, Zenzotli often replaces hard sounding c’s with k’s. Other replacements include the spelling of through as thru and thought as thot, while other instances of Zenzotli’s experiments with language revolve around changes to the type. In doing so, Zenzotli explains that he is merely showcasing his “emphasis” (Foster 2). This type of narrative experimentation is what Manfred Jahn explains to be skaz narrative, which has “a distinctly oral diction and syntax, a skaz-narrator’s discourse is also characterized by a high incidence of phatic and appellative elements, signaling the presence of the listening audience” (N3.3.4). While Zenzotli’s experiments with his diction is used for emphasis, his experiments also demand that readers consider his Aztek heritage. Like Zenzotli’s diction, the replacement of hard sounding c’s with k’s also appears in the Mortal Kombat franchise as seen in the image and clip belowy.

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