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Close ListeningPoetry and the Performed Word$
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Charles Bernstein

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780195109924

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195109924.001.0001

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Who Speaks

Who Speaks

Ventriloquism and the Self in the Poetry Reading

(p.360) Who Speaks
Close Listening

Ron Silliman

Oxford University Press

This chapter starts by asking who speaks, who listens, and who reads. It also states that far from being incidental, the instrumental language of an absent subject has created a pervasive tone. From professional jargons to street languages, people everywhere perpetually stylize their use of language but this dynamic of linguistic innovation take on new qualities of social resistance. Many formal features of the text are only barely audible in an oral presentation, for instance in terms of the shape of lines, stanzas, or paragraphs on the page. The presentation of personality represents the particular element of all open readings that separates it from nearly all other like public performances in our society.

Keywords:   ventriloquism, self, instrumental language, dynamic of linguistic innovation, social resistance, oral presentation, presentation of personality

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