9781403962911 / 140396291X

Lonesome Words: The Vocal Poetics of the Old English Lament and the African-American Blues Song (The New Middle Ages)


Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan



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About the book:

The tenth-century Old English lament and twentieth-century blues song each speak the language of a distinct poetic tradition, yet the voices are remarkably similar in their emotive expression of loneliness. This innovative study juxtaposes the texts of each corpus to explore the features that characterize their vocal poetics. McGeachy examines how the texts evoke the dynamic of performance and explores the role of recording--in manuscript and on 78 rpm record--in establishing the distinctive formulas of each genre. Featured are a study of blues artist Robert Johnson's work and a comparison of two anthologies: the Exeter Book and the Folkways Anthology of American Folk Music.

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