4 oct. 2005

I don't see what's gained by interpolating more distance into what is already an abstract activity: Yes, it's certainly possible to read without hearing a speaker; it's also possible to move your eyes over words you can't define.".

Exactly. Moreover, the relations between speaker and addressee can have enormous complexity, with the addition of an implied eavesdropper, the reader. The poem written to be overheard. A poem that doesn't have this triangulated relationship will not possess this particular kind of complexity. I'm sure it's just one kind of complexity among others, but it's one I happen to value quite a bit. At the very least, I would argue that you don't gain in sophistication or complexity by eliminating the speaking voice and its communicative function.

6 comentarios:

Tony Tost dijo...

Not sure if your & Jordan's comments are directly related to the post where we argued on Personism, but I may as well assume so in order to say:

The thing that I found interesting was the notion of dropping the assumption that diverging from the simulation of conversation would be "interpolating more distance." If just in order to analyze the assumption that speech is the nearest or real-est form of communication; it could very well be, but it's an interesting idea to argue against, if just for the other ideas it could generate (& even if I'm in no position of arguing it).

Anyway, this ties into one of the things that I find interesting about Flarf, the notion that you can eavesdrop between the imagined sources of the Flarf poem and the poet (or the 'speaker' of the Flarf poem) as much as you can eavesdrop between the poet (or the speaker of the Flarf poem) and the imagined addressee.

Anyway, I DON'T HATE SPEECH (even if I don't want to wield it as a one-size-fits-all measuring stick).

Jonathan dijo...

That's a good point (about eavedropping.). Of course speech is a medium like any other. Nobody I really know proposes it as a onesizefitsall measuring stick. Isn't this a straw man? Speech-based or epistolary forms are more direct in some sense than writing that doesn't posit an addressee. My point was that the reader is not usually the addressee of the poem, and thus this creates complications rather than simplifying the question of voice.

Tony Tost dijo...

Well, it seems a lot of people throw up their hands at poems that don't have a speaking voice -- I'm not really trying to point out anything new in this regard other than Sterne's ideas gave me new tools for analyzing issues of voice in poetry (not that his ideas are intrinsically in favor of one view or another, but just that they frame the issue in a new way for me). So my frustration is mostly to the way it seems some folks take it that I'm favoring non-voice over voice in poems. I'm not, I'm just trying to look at the assumptions that frame these sorts of debates.

I'm pretty fond myself of complications of address -- one of the things that first attracted me to Ashbery was his manipulations of this through the shifting pronouns, registers and all. Kept me on my toes.

Now I go outside!

Jonathan dijo...

I'm not sure what your definition of a poem that doesn't have a speaking voice is. Do mean speaking voice as opposed to a written "voice," or as opposed to a text that doesn't seem to have an enunciating subject at all, whether spoken or written? Even with bits of found language, i tend to posit a "speaker" standing there selecting this language and I still feel a voice, of some kind. It is a complicated question. There is orality, and then there is the question of the "speaking subject." These are not at all the same thing, though they could be identified in particular cases.

Tony Tost dijo...

Less poems that don't have speaking voices than poems which have qualities that can't be accounted for only by criteria we'd bring to evaluating vocal speech -- I think an example would be Ronald Johnson's RADI OS, which while it can be vocalized can't really be evaluated or discussed in terms only of vocalization (or a speaker), but which needs to be addressed also as how it exists as writing (or erasing) that can be vocalized but doesn't seem to rely only on that. You can imagine a subject in RADI OS speaking the poem (would maybe sound like Blake) but that would take suspending knowledge of RJ erasing out Milton to create that 'voice.' So in that poem there are elements to it that seem to me can't only be accounted for unless the medium of writing/erasing is addressed.

It's early for me, hope that wasn't just mumbo jumbo.

Jonathan dijo...

It's very distant from mumbo jumbo. A good explanation for 5:04 a.m., or for any time of day actually. How much poetry fits into this category? All of Creeley, for example, depends on its writing, not just its imagined vocalization.