first of all, thanks for engaging in dialogue about this. As I'm sure you
realise, I am not trying to make a fetish of things in paper and print, what
I mean rather is that, whether on papyrus, parchment, paper or the web,
poems need to be transferable, to be reproduced in a form that can be passed
from one person to another. Performances can't, even if videoed, the
ambience will always be missing, particularly if multi-media. I always
notice with my own poems, as a rule of thumb, that I can do one performance
only, and after that it becomes mechanical. The moment is gone.
Anyhow, these are very early thoughts, I'll come back further after
reflecting on these matters, but thanks definitely for opening a debate.
All the Best
A Chide's Alphabet
Painting Without Numbers
----- Original Message -----
From: "cris cheek" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, June 21, 2002 10:07 AM
Subject: Re: "This 'performative' poem"
i'll let Austin say it for me:
'To name the ship is to say (in the appropriate circumstances) the words 'I
name, &c.'. When I say, before the registrar, &c., 'I do', I am not
reporting on a marriage: I am indulging in it.
What are we to call a sentence or an utterance of this type? I propose to
call it a performative sentence or a performative utterance, or, for short,
'a performative'. The term 'performative' will be used in a variety of
cagnate ways and constructions, much as the term 'imperative' is. The name
is derived, of course, from 'perform', the usual verb with the noun
'action': it indicates that the issuing of the utterance is the performing
of an action - it is not normally thought of as just saying something.'
'How To Do Things With Words' (Oxford: OUP, 1962) p6
more and more writers place this understanding on the front and not the back
burner when they write
I was enjoying reading Peter's sense of that.
love and love