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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Asking the Right Questions

I was thinking on my walk today that other people don't know the right questions to ask. Now that's my objection to other people's work, but of course, I'm blaming them for not asking the kind of questions that interest me. There is no absolute measure of what an interesting or not interesting question is. Interesting to whom?  What I mean is this:

I'm the first person (or one of the first at least) in the Hispanic field to try to do "word and music studies." I guess that would depend on how this is defined.

I'm the first person word and music studies to do a book that combines classical and vernacular musical traditions in adaptations of a single poet. (or maybe at all, in a comparative perspective).

Almost nobody, it seems, really looks at the music itself very closely when they study popular music in my field.

I was thinking of Linda Hutcheon today and discovered she had a book on theory adaptations, to go along with her theory of parody. I don't remember her as being very interesting: clear and helpful, yes, but I don't remember it having a spark.  I'll have to go back and see. There is a general field of translation / parody / adaptation / musical setting theory that I am in, more or less. Since Hutcheon also has her theory of postmodernism I will have to look at that, since I'm arguing for a postmodernism in musical settings of Lorca. I cannot even remember my objections to Hutcheon, except maybe that she looked only at prose fiction, whereas for me the interest lies in poetry / music. I remember thinking that she missed Kenneth Koch.  So maybe the idea of an interesting question is subjective.  Her idea of historiographic metafiction fits the books she knew at the time (historiographic metafiction) but didn't seem pertinent to what I was interested in.

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