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In a message dated 3/28/01 2:17:08 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
[log in to unmask] writes:


> Books have been written for 76 years now on TWL, and I don't 
> think any of them failed to note that it is full of speeches, and many 
> focused explicitly on that:  Calvin Bedient, for example.  
> 

Yes, people notice that it's a series of speeches, but apparently don't think 
of a series of speeches as a form, even though this is the form used in 
playscripts and operatic librettos.


> Given the incredible variety of playscripts and librettos, I also do not 
> know 
> what the "exact form" is, but I do not see any version of it in TWL, which, 
> unlike most plays (though not all) includes a recurrent narrator and 
> sections in a third person voice not identified.  Operas are sung, so the 
> relation of arias and recitative is rather different.  What is this "exact 
> form"?

If a person from another galaxy were to be given the job of looking through a 
library to find operatic librettos, and they had no idea how to distinguish a 
libretto from, say, a summary of the opera, a cook book, or a chemistry book, 
I think it would be accurate to tell them that the libretto would be a series 
of speeches (actually material to be sung), and the speeches would be 
accompanied by stage directions.

The question in this case is what a libretto looks like when printed, not 
what the opera sounds like when sung or what kind of opera it might be. To 
deal with any question of the relationship between the words printed on the 
page and how they sound when sung, one would still have to begin with an 
acknowedgement that the libretto, in fact, consists of a series of speeches 
printed on a page. And accompanied by stage directions, which are not sung.

My main point is that I don't think there's a consensus in literary studies 
about where form fits in the picture, or even what it is. I hardly ever see 
the word used except in reference to metrical forms. This has to impact on 
disucssion of, say, whether TWL is formless. If one person has one conception 
of what form is, and another has a completely different and incompatible 
understanding, there's likely to be what aestheticians call a crossed 
monologue. People think they're talking about the same thing, but they aren't.

pat

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<HTML><FONT FACE=arial,helvetica><FONT  SIZE=3 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial Narrow" LANG="0"><B>In a message dated 3/28/01 2:17:08 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
<BR>[log in to unmask] 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">Books have been written for 76 years now on TWL, and I don't 
<BR>think any of them failed to note that it is full of speeches, and many 
<BR>focused explicitly on that: &nbsp;Calvin Bedient, for example. &nbsp;
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=3 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0"></BLOCKQUOTE>
<BR>
<BR>Yes, people notice that it's a series of speeches, but apparently don't think 
<BR>of a series of speeches as a form, even though this is the form used in 
<BR>playscripts and operatic librettos.
<BR>
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=2 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0">
<BR><BLOCKQUOTE TYPE=CITE style="BORDER-LEFT: #0000ff 2px solid; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px">Given the incredible variety of playscripts and librettos, I also do not 
<BR>know 
<BR>what the "exact form" is, but I do not see any version of it in TWL, which, 
<BR>unlike most plays (though not all) includes a recurrent narrator and 
<BR>sections in a third person voice not identified. &nbsp;Operas are sung, so the 
<BR>relation of arias and recitative is rather different. &nbsp;What is this "exact 
<BR>form"?</FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=3 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0"></BLOCKQUOTE>
<BR>
<BR>If a person from another galaxy were to be given the job of looking through a 
<BR>library to find operatic librettos, and they had no idea how to distinguish a 
<BR>libretto from, say, a summary of the opera, a cook book, or a chemistry book, 
<BR>I think it would be accurate to tell them that the libretto would be a series 
<BR>of speeches (actually material to be sung), and the speeches would be 
<BR>accompanied by stage directions.
<BR>
<BR>The question in this case is what a libretto looks like when printed, not 
<BR>what the opera sounds like when sung or what kind of opera it might be. To 
<BR>deal with any question of the relationship between the words printed on the 
<BR>page and how they sound when sung, one would still have to begin with an 
<BR>acknowedgement that the libretto, in fact, consists of a series of speeches 
<BR>printed on a page. And accompanied by stage directions, which are not sung.
<BR>
<BR>My main point is that I don't think there's a consensus in literary studies 
<BR>about where form fits in the picture, or even what it is. I hardly ever see 
<BR>the word used except in reference to metrical forms. This has to impact on 
<BR>disucssion of, say, whether TWL is formless. If one person has one conception 
<BR>of what form is, and another has a completely different and incompatible 
<BR>understanding, there's likely to be what aestheticians call a crossed 
<BR>monologue. People think they're talking about the same thing, but they aren't.
<BR>
<BR>pat</FONT></HTML>

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