29 nov. 2011


I went to a reading the other night in which a woman read a short-story in an invariant voice. It wasn't technically a monotone because there was some variation of pitch, but it was the same variation of pitch and the same tempo throughout. Every sentence got equal weight. It was deadly.

The other reader seemed to go on too long reading his undistinguished poetry. I don't think you should use the phrase "in terms of" in a poem unless you are being ironically prosy in a John Ashbery mode. I don't think you should introduce a poem by saying that it is going to go over the audience's head. I don't even think he meant that to be insulting.

I guess I don't really like readings that much aside from the social aspect. Egoistically, I like reading myself rather than listening to other people, unless they are actually better writers and readers than I am.

I often record myself and listen critically to what I hear. I have a tendency to drop words and to fall into a predictable intonational pattern, among other numerous flaws. I am not saying that I am the perfect reader, but I am still a whole lot better than a lot of readers I hear.

2 comentarios:

Jim McCrary dijo...

Fielding Dawson tells that when Paul Blackburn curated readings in NYC 1960's, he (Paul)would stand at door and offer a pint bottle of cheap brandy to those that entered....knowing full well that NO MATTER who was reading...a belt or two of liquid enhancement was helpful.

Is it the same hearing music live or recorded as text read out loud or read as print off the page?

The few poems I've written with the intention of reading in public have been pretty dismal failures but sometimes invoke positive response. Usually the result of audience ignorance.

Jonathan dijo...

The alcohol can actually make me less tolerant, or less inhibited in showing my displeasure.