Archive for the ‘Other Audio Recordings’ Category

“Alph the sacred river”   Leave a comment

Listen to a discussion about a relative of ALP’s here (Kubla Khan; BBC Radio 4; 5 days to listen).

Rasas and Modes   Leave a comment

I’m starting to wonder if I can think of the composition of FW in terms of rasa theory. This Indian literary theory is expressed in the third century text, Natyasastra, which is ascribed to Bharatamuni (Indian Literary Criticism 3).  Rasa theory is only a small part of the Natyasastra, a compendium of performed arts: drama, music, dance (ibid). This is an extract from G.K. Bhatt’s 1975 English translation:

“On Natya and Rasa: Aestheics of Dramatic Experience

… The natya (in fact) is depiction and communication pertaining to the emotions of the entire triple world:

Occasionally piety, occasionally sport, occasionally wealth, occasionally peace of mind, occasionally laughter, occasionally fighting, occasionally sexual passion, occasionally slaughter;

the pious behaviour of those who practice religion, the passion of those who indulge in sexual pleasure, the repression of those who go by a wicked path, the act of self restrain of those who are disciplined… The eight rhetorical Sentiments (Rasas) recognised in drama and dramatic representation are named as follows: the Erotic, Comic, Pathetic, Furious, Heroic, Terrible, Odious, Marvelous” (4-5).

My plan is to finish these first recordings by the 2nd of February (Joyce’s birthday); and then start re-listening to them in order to annotate my text up at points where I find myself shifting to read with a particular rasa.

When I’ve done that, I’ll reconsider my hunch that there might be a montage of emotional modes in FW, somewhat akin to Sergei Eisenstein’s audiovisual diagrams that relate “the plastic element of movement and the movement of the music” in his films (Barber, A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology 178-179).

FW privileges soundscape over narrative. But, what I will call the “sound frames” of FW seem to modulate from one emotional state to another as I read. In fact the “sound frames” seem to function in a manner similar to musical modes.

I’ll explain what I mean about modes and emotions:

Today, the difference between major and minor, with a flattened third in the minor,  is the closest we have to modes in classical Western music. However, in the eleventh century there were eight medieval church modes, as a consequence of Boethius’s (480-524/26) and Guido’s ( 991- after 1033) treaties (A History of Western Music 27; 51). With Boethius compiling his treaties from earlier Greek sources including those of Nicomachus, Euclid, Aristoxenus, Pythagorus, and Ptolemy’s Harmonics (27).

As a result of such research, by the fifteenth century Marsillius Ficinus (1433-1499)  was not alone in believing that “music could alter the cognitive faculties of the soul, transform the passions and even privilege the communication of the spirit with the immaterial realties of the world soul” (Boccadoro, “Medicine, Mathematics and Music 105). However, it was he who related the eight medieval church modes, to their corresponding humours, colours and astral bodies, eg:

“Mixolydian (G-D-G) = Saturn = Melancholy = Opaque Colour of mud = Partially lascivious and gay

Phrygian (E-C-E) = Mars = Anger = Colour of Fire = Severe, excited, suited to choleric beings, elatis suberbis, asperis.” (118)

Now, this table reminds me of the Linati Schema for Ulysses…

Washerwomen   Leave a comment

Chapter VIII Anna Livia Plurabella -Gossip of two washerwomen on the banks of the Liffy


As I was reading this extract, I remembered that I once worked in a laundry. I was a towel folder.  I even waded across a river to get to the laundry sometimes. And there was an Irish woman called Norah. She had false teeth and would flick them in and out as she counted the towels, checking they were clean and piled up in stacks of 10. She didn’t say much actually. But, I  remember an expletive filled conversation with a Kendalian women who worked the sheet roller machine. She said she always gave the best cuts of meat to her dog and never to her husband; and that I shouldn’t sit on the ground or I’d get piles.

Thinking about language and gender more formally, Stephen Fry interviews Professor Deborah Cameron on the subject of language and the gender divide here

The blurb for Fry’s English Delight quotes Cameron as writing,

“The idea that men and women differ fundamentally in the way they use language to communicate is a myth in the everyday sense: a widespread but false belief. But it is also a myth in the sense of being a story people tell in order to explain who they are, where they have come from, and why they live as they do”.

See also: Hyde data (Gender differences in verbal/ communicative behaviour)

(-d women predominate; +d men predominate)

OOO   1 comment

This morning I have been listening to this MP3 post on object orientated ontology over at Ecology without Nature. It is a good introduction to OOO. And it has helped me to start to elaborate the statement I make on my profile page: that I’m interested in slippages between word and world… I’m interested in what this slipperiness belies -that Worlds (and words) are  constructs, pretenses at structural stability to block out- perhaps, what in geologist speak is called the dynamic Earth.

Making Worlds. Let’s at least own that complicity in pretense! Understand the slippery construction.

World making: Here is the advertising blurb for our new living room wallpaper:

“The outdoors comes in with this leaf stripe design, lightly distressed to give a subtle natural effect.
All of the papers in Graham & Brown’s eco collection are printed with water-based, VOC free inks, on FSC acredited, sustainable paper. The wallpapers are also wrapped in a compostable material.”