Our analysis of the special role of Calliope, the Muse of “the beautiful voice”, is based on four ancient Greek poetic texts: an extract from Hesiod’s Theogony, an elegy of Solon, a Pindar’s ode and a fragment of Empedocles. Indeed, Calliope is connected with a particular kind of speech. This speech embraces the notions of eloquence and persuasion, and therefore contributes to the application of justice and the peaceful settlement of social conflicts.
Literary studies regards the “poetry reading” as a marginal phenomenon. By resituating the published poems of Amiri Baraka, Kamau Brathwaite, and Cecilia Vicuña in performance contexts, this essay proposes that each reading has the dimensions of an emergent performance, with distinguishable oral dynamics. The poet-performers break through into performativity by means of elaboration and versioning. This dynamic activity practice presents a challenge to the dominant practices of literary criticism and the scholarship of print texts.
The Italian chivalric-epic tradition is based primarily on medieval Carolingian lore from France. Oral and written manifestations of this tradition influenced and enriched each other across the centuries. This essay explores the dialectic between oral and written Carolingian epic in Italy. It focuses on the medieval cantari poems and on the Sicilian cunto, which was a type of oral performance that survived into the twentieth century.
This article explores the connections between a coming-of-age ritual in rural Japan and one of the important narratives underwriting the rise of Japan’s warrior class. the Genpei War that brought it to power in 1185. Through an explication of the narrative and performative elements of the ritual, Oyler demonstrates how one problematic story about Japan’s history is reworked into a palatable narrative and incorporated into the ritual life of geographically and socially diverse populations.
This article examines how oral performances of poetry have proliferated over the past forty years to become an essential part of the writing and distribution of poetry in the UK. Our analysis of this phenomenon involves historical research and suggests new ways of looking at the construction of poetic meaning. We draw on interviews with practitioners from diverse poetry communities in considering how performance challenges the exclusive emphasis on the silent, printed text in existing histories of English language poetry.
In Homeric studies scholars have speculated on the influence of (non-surviving) preHomeric material on the Iliad. This article expands this line of argument from an oralist perspective, with reference to modern intertextual theory. It concludes that preHomeric and nonHomeric motifs from oral traditions were transferred into the epic poem, creating an intertextually allusive poetics that would have been recognizable to an early Greek audience informed of mythological traditions.