Print

Print


--part1_82.8cecf5a.27f38df2_boundary
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

In a message dated 3/28/01 12:04:28 PM Eastern Standard Time, [log in to unmask] 
writes:


> Nancy has alluded to her problems with finding structure in TWL.  ( I hope
> I'm not putting words in her mouth but that has been my sense of what she
> has said in the past. )  An ideogrammic poem would properly have a very
> special structure that would fit no norms for literary  structure as the
> word is commonly used by critics.
> 
> 

Rick,

I think many or most people just don't notice that TWL has the exact form of 
a playscript, or a libretto for an opera. The one proviso is that there are 
no stage directions, leaving the question of whether the stage directions are 
implied. 

I think people realize, or one can maybe get them to realize, that what one 
actually sees on the page in a playscript or libretto is a series of 
annotated speeches (the annotations are the stage directions). But then if 
one says "doesn't TWL, too, consist of a series of speeches?" they either 
don't see it, or  say it doesn't matter, or don't understand that a series of 
speeches is a form (they think of form being limited to metrical forms like 
iambic pentameter).

It's maybe a good argument for the proposition that we do indeed make our own 
realities. If, for whatever reason, one can't or won't recognize that a 
series of speeches is a form (the form used, for example, in playscripts and 
operatic librettos), then one is always going to regard TWL as formless. It's 
a different proposition if a person can say, "O, of course TWL is a series of 
speeches. I hadn't noticed (and of course a series of speeches is a form)."  

This suggests to me that the question of whether TWL is "formless" gets 
sandbagged early on by a lack of common agreement in literary studies about 
what the word "form" means. Probably this has happened because form hasn't 
been discussed for so long in this field. The New Critics got into it to a 
limited extent, and there might be an aversion today to valuing anything 
associated with the New Critics. I'm actually surprised that the question 
could still be asked of whether TWL is "formless." If one takes the position 
that form is something not worth talking about, why would it make any 
difference?

I don't mean to put you on the spot. But why isn't a series of speeches a 
recognizable form or structure to you? Leading of course to the sub-questions 
of whether this is a randomized or non-randomized series of speeches. If 
non-randomized, the "stage directions" would be implied rather than explicit. 
If randomized, there would be no stage directions, whether express or 
implied. Is it that it doesn't seem "intellectual" enough to begin with 
something simple that anyone can see with his or her own eyes? Or is it that 
you think of form in terms of metrical form only? Or are there other factors? 
 I'm not trying to convince you that a series of speeches is a form, if it's 
something you don't accept.  I'm just trying to get clear in my own mind why 
you'd be willing to think of a Chinese ideaogram as a form, yet wouldn't be 
willing to think of a series of speeches as a form. And I guess that gets 
down to what you understand form to be, or how you'd define it.  

pat



--part1_82.8cecf5a.27f38df2_boundary
Content-Type: text/html; charset="US-ASCII"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

<HTML><FONT FACE=arial,helvetica><FONT  SIZE=3 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial Narrow" LANG="0"><B>In a message dated 3/28/01 12:04:28 PM Eastern Standard Time, [log in to unmask] 
<BR>writes:
<BR>
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=2 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0"></B>
<BR><BLOCKQUOTE TYPE=CITE style="BORDER-LEFT: #0000ff 2px solid; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px">Nancy has alluded to her problems with finding structure in TWL. &nbsp;( I hope
<BR>I'm not putting words in her mouth but that has been my sense of what she
<BR>has said in the past. ) &nbsp;An ideogrammic poem would properly have a very
<BR>special structure that would fit no norms for literary &nbsp;structure as the
<BR>word is commonly used by critics.
<BR>
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=3 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0"></BLOCKQUOTE>
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=3 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial Narrow" LANG="0"><B>
<BR>Rick,
<BR>
<BR>I think many or most people just don't notice that TWL has the exact form of 
<BR>a playscript, or a libretto for an opera. The one proviso is that there are 
<BR>no stage directions, leaving the question of whether the stage directions are 
<BR>implied. 
<BR>
<BR>I think people realize, or one can maybe get them to realize, that what one 
<BR>actually sees on the page in a playscript or libretto is a series of 
<BR>annotated speeches (the annotations are the stage directions). But then if 
<BR>one says "doesn't TWL, too, consist of a series of speeches?" they either 
<BR>don't see it, or &nbsp;say it doesn't matter, or don't understand that a series of 
<BR>speeches <U>is</U> a form (they think of form being limited to metrical forms like 
<BR>iambic pentameter).
<BR>
<BR>It's maybe a good argument for the proposition that we do indeed make our own 
<BR>realities. If, for whatever reason, one can't or won't recognize that a 
<BR>series of speeches is a form (the form used, for example, in playscripts and 
<BR>operatic librettos), then one is always going to regard TWL as formless. It's 
<BR>a different proposition if a person can say, "O, of course TWL is a series of 
<BR>speeches. I hadn't noticed (and of course a series of speeches is a form)." &nbsp;
<BR>
<BR>This suggests to me that the question of whether TWL is "formless" gets 
<BR>sandbagged early on by a lack of common agreement in literary studies about 
<BR>what the word "form" means. Probably this has happened because form hasn't 
<BR>been discussed for so long in this field. The New Critics got into it to a 
<BR>limited extent, and there might be an aversion today to valuing anything 
<BR>associated with the New Critics. I'm actually surprised that the question 
<BR>could still be asked of whether TWL is "formless." If one takes the position 
<BR>that form is something not worth talking about, why would it make any 
<BR>difference?
<BR>
<BR>I don't mean to put you on the spot. But why isn't a series of speeches a 
<BR>recognizable form or structure to you? Leading of course to the sub-questions 
<BR>of whether this is a randomized or non-randomized series of speeches. If 
<BR>non-randomized, the "stage directions" would be implied rather than explicit. 
<BR>If randomized, there would be no stage directions, whether express or 
<BR>implied. Is it that it doesn't seem "intellectual" enough to begin with 
<BR>something simple that anyone can see with his or her own eyes? Or is it that 
<BR>you think of form in terms of metrical form only? Or are there other factors? 
<BR>&nbsp;I'm not trying to convince you that a series of speeches is a form, if it's 
<BR>something you don't accept. &nbsp;I'm just trying to get clear in my own mind why 
<BR>you'd be willing to think of a Chinese ideaogram as a form, yet wouldn't be 
<BR>willing to think of a series of speeches as a form. And I guess that gets 
<BR>down to what you understand form to be, or how you'd define it. &nbsp;
<BR>
<BR>pat
<BR>
<BR></B></FONT></HTML>

--part1_82.8cecf5a.27f38df2_boundary--