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Lilt: a theory of melody

A melody has to catch the ear. A lilt is an up and down movement that has to be asymmetrical or surprising in some way. It can go up, and ...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ginsberg on Lorca

I wish I'd seen this before I wrote my book:
I was talking about this toward the end of last term [1980], particularly when you get it in Lorca. Sometimes you can take an abstraction or a general word and out put next to it a particular word or a concrete word and the combination will turn you on - "animal shoes" - or, my own favorite was in my own writing - "hydrogen jukebox" ("jukebox, which is a relatively common, vulgar word - and then "hydrogen", which is somewhat scientific and abstract, sort of). So if you take "hydrogen" and "jukebox" and put them together you get a little explosion.
People underestimate Ginsberg's logopoeia, his verbal wit (and Lorca's too), but here you see him being very precise and analytical about what he is doing. You don't even get a sense of him bragging about it, he is just describing exactly what the effect is.

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