The Pale of Words: Reflections on the Humanities and Performance

The Pale of Words: Reflections on the Humanities and Performance

5.0 1
by James Anderson Winn, James Anderson Winn
     
 
With this book, James Anderson Winn makes an original and thought-provoking contribution to the current debate about the state of humanities education. Contending that humanists from Plato to Alan Bloom have identified excessively with the written word, Winn examines the troubled relations between the humanities and performance and calls for scholars to form a new

Overview

With this book, James Anderson Winn makes an original and thought-provoking contribution to the current debate about the state of humanities education. Contending that humanists from Plato to Alan Bloom have identified excessively with the written word, Winn examines the troubled relations between the humanities and performance and calls for scholars to form a new alliance with performers.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Winn (English, Boston Univ.) closely analyzes the humanities, emphasizing their roots in performance traditions and their subsequent development. He concludes that music, visual arts, and theatrical display have been, over time, constrained by the written word and that, as a result, their essential nonverbal power has been undermined. Through musical examples and descriptions, literary quotations, philosophical discussion, and historical details, Winn offers persuasive evidence in support of his ideas. He draws examples from a variety of sources--from the structure of ancient Greek tragedy to the perceptions of jazz musicians to the writings of Roland Barthes, to name just a few. He uses his research brilliantly, coaxing out thought-provoking conclusions. Winn's final proposal, for collaboration between scholars in the humanities and performers, could be heeded with positive results, particularly given the state of the arts in contemporary society. For scholarly collections.--Carol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, NJ

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300074123
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
11/28/1998
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

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The Pale of Words 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
War brings out the best in us¿heroism, nobility, and sacrifice¿and the worst in us¿hatred, savagery, and vengefulness. From ancient times to the present, poets have explored the experience of war. War is a subject of most of the great western epics¿the Iliad, Aeneid, Beowulf, Chanson de Roland, Paradise Lost, etc. War is the subject for modern day popular poet such as Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. To better understand the relationship between war and poetry, I read The Poetry of War, by James Winn. Though a professor of English at Boston University, Winn writes in a clear compelling a clear and avoids academic jargon. What is like to face death or to kill another man? Perhaps only a poet can convey a sense of the emotions of men at war. Winn shows how poets from Homer to Randall Jarrell have praised heroes while raising questions about the basic nature of heroism, celebrated victors but wondered about the ultimate bitter fruits of victory, and found the passion and energy of war both enthralling and repulsive. While awaiting the poet who can explain what we are doing in Iraq, I recommend that you read The Poetry of War.