Intermediality of Live Performance: Experiencing the Madness

Chesnokova, Anna and van Peer, Willie (2021) Intermediality of Live Performance: Experiencing the Madness Інтермедіальність на перетині наукових парадигм : ретроспектива і сучасність. p. 8.

[thumbnail of A_Chesnokova_Mkonf_2021_IF.pdf] Text

Download (604kB)


Music and voice are at the origin of poetry, which is important for the way it gets across. In ancient times people sang poetry for an audience (e.g., the rhapsode in Greek culture): the audience listened to the Iliad while the singer accompanied himself on the lyre. Initially, literature was public, not private, and in Antiquity it was oral, meant to be memorised and recited. It is only in the 19th century that people started reading to themselves. With this idea in mind, in this presentation we will position poetry where it belongs: in the real world, in the social sphere, embedded in a live performance, vibrant with music. We will view poetry as an oral act and discuss how its recipients experience the madness and magic of words and rhythm. To this end, we will look at the YouTube performance by a Portuguese fado singer, Mariza, and report the results of an experiment in which participants reacted to the song with and without the text and its translation being available. In doing so, we will focus on the evidence-based approach to the study of poetry. We will refer to a general paradox of the arts, of music, and also of poetry: that we can distinguish between emotions evoked by poetry and the emotions we experience ourselves (Chesnokova et al., 2017; van Peer & Chesnokova, 2021). One would expect there to be some congruency between both, so that sad poems make a reader sad, and jolly poems make them exhilarated. But that turns out not to be the case. In many instances we actually enjoy sadness in art, and also in poetry. The clearest demonstration of this paradox comes from music (see, for example, Kawakami et al., 2013), and we hold that similar emotional processes may be at work in the experience of art in general. As the key emotions in the performance relate to the idea of madness – in Mariza’s case of madness of being a fado singer – the idea of madness in poetry will be taken up: as the folly of words and rhythm that puts poets (and poetry) outside our daily life, seeking to alienate us from our everyday notions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fado; empirical research; madness
Subjects: Наукові конференції > Міжнародні
Divisions: Інститути > Інститут філології > Кафедра англійської філології та перекладу
Depositing User: Анна Вадимовна Чеснокова
Date Deposited: 17 May 2021 12:44
Last Modified: 17 May 2021 12:52

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item