Immanent Art asks "how" the structure of an oral poem means, rather than how the Oral-Formulaic Theory or Parry-Lord Theory (from Milman Parry and Alfred Lord) seeks to clarify the structure in itself. Immanent Art seeks to understand the idiomatic implications of the building blocks ("words") of an oral performance. It concentrates on recurrent phrases, scenes, and story-patterns as clues of more-than-literal meaning. (Foley 2002)
- "[Immanent Art] aims beyond a nuts-and-bolts grammar and toward a working fluency in the language of oral poetry." How to Read an Oral Poem
A register names the special language used both by oral poets to make their poems and by audiences and reader to hear and read them. Dell Hymes defines registers as "major speech styles associated with recurrent types of situations." These ways of speaking are socially defined and can be classified as "styles". Each register is tied to a purpose and can be out of place. A register will definitely encompass some keys to performance, but the main focus of identifying or studying the register is to understand "how" things mean what they mean and "how" the audience understands it. In the long and short of it, following the register connects the oral poems to their oral traditions.
An oral poem's performance arena is not actually the physical location of a performance, but a virtual space and time in which the poets and audiences transact their traditional business. It is more important to understand why the poet is performing in a certain place, rather than to collect unnecessary information about the place itself.
Instead of the poet and audience having to figure out a common language, they "know" which one to use. Some traditions incorporate words from other dead languages, but they are still used due to tradition. Likewise, if the langauge were to change, so would the meaning of the performance itself.
- PathwaysProject.org -- Immanent Art at the Pathways Project
- OpenLibrary.org -- John Miles Foley's 1991 Book "Immanent Art"
Navigation: Twbtg2 - Abstract - Table of Contents - All Articles - Suggested Routes - Sources
|The Scenic Route|
Twbtg2 → Abstract → Table of Contents → Trickster story type → Coyote → List and maps of Native American tribes → Ethnopoetics → Coyote Races Buffalo (Talk) → Source:Calvin Grinnell → Coyote and Junco (Talk) → Performance Theory → Coyote and Turtle Story (Talk) → Don't Be Too Curious (Talk) → Immanent Art → Rabbit's Short Tail (Talk) → Coyote Steals a Drink (Talk) → The Coyote & The Prairie Dog (Talk) → Sources → Other Routes
|The Beginners Route|