Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Wondering what I'm up to!

Once upon a time, there was a loose-knit community of song-collectors and writers of national 'songs' (well, verses).  I strayed into their midst, and felt very much at home.  (Let's not split hairs and argue that they lived in and around 19th century Edinburgh, whilst I'm in 21st century Glasgow.)   A thesis was written; and now a book is being born.

But wait! Before chapter 5 was born, some supplementary reading was suggested to me.  Six big, fat books, of which four are more literary than musicological.  I've drafted my chapter, but I still want to do the reading, just in case there are some ideas I can incorporate or allude to.

Enter M. H. Abrams' English Romantic Poets (1975), and a couple of early essays therein.  Oh, my!  This evening, I've read about literary Romanticism, and had a little deviation around the internet -  and then Amazon - learning that my 1820s metaphors can be analysed, according to the rules of rhetoric, into vehicle, tenor and ground.  I've resisted the temptation to buy a book about rhetoric.  (Nigella Lawson's Domestic Goddess is also beckoning, though I've resisted her blandishments too, today.)

Rose by night
And I can tell you that I am now able to recognise the vehicle, the tenor and the ground in my 1820s song paratexts.  (But if you want to know what they are, you'll have to wait to read the book!) 

This nocturnal rose, by the way, is the vehicle for a metaphor in which the song is the tenor, and the ground is the fact that both songs and author (me, writing this blog) are blooming late.  Pardon the pun.

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