Week 6

1 Presentations

  • 5 minute presentations on your work-in-progress Distant Readings
  • Discussion of format for written DR's due next week.

2 Stein and theory reading

Stein selections from Gertrude Stein general headnote from Fact on File

Stein - close listening

Let's choose a Stein recording to practice some old-school close-listening and notation.

Stein at Pennsound

If I told Him, Pennsound . See text, audio, aligned audio. See also Brian Reed on listening to “If I told Him”

(How) She Bowed to Her Brother

3 Audio Theory

You read my “Elaborate Versionings” essay a few weeks ago, which argues that the readings of some poets constitute “performances” and ought to be appreciated as such, with attention to the vocal elements that “key” performance. In that essay, I used a few idiosyncratic methods of transcription modeled on Tedlock/Rothenberg's “total translation.”
A different approach, but still relying on the ear/perception of the critic as “auditor” is one I explored in an unpublished Nemla paper called "Tuning the Ear". In this piece I make a case for the pedagogical value of close-listening in the classroom. I also “demo” a web interface for sharing one's transcription in visual form. Let's listen and view a Williams' poem; then let's try to practice some manual transcription with Gertrude Stein.

The piece Marit McArthur , which was originally published by Jacket2, an online journal associated with PennSound. It previews the tools we'll use in our workshop next week.


Next week, please have your distant reading prepared. You should also read the second, longer Marit McArthur piece. This will prepare you for an audio workshop. It is important that you read this piece closely. I'll introduce you to a pair of tools that helps visualize poetry sound files and provides some “data” on intonation/pitch and time.