#ENGL496 Presentation Post

The way I used to do presentations was approximately: write down every word, practice until the script is effectively redundant, but still Do Not Deviate from the script. While that method definitely has its uses (I’ve become pretty good at making a memorized line sound off-the-cuff) it also has downsides: whenever it came to a question and answer period I’d falter. With that in mind my last year-or-so of presentations I’ve been trying very hard to practice without a script, so as to include “superfluous” information into my talking style. What this means for things like PowerPoints and the like is that my notes have become a sparse writing of anything I actually need to say verbatim (ie. shit it would actually be detrimental to fuck up on), and important quotes/Wikipedia entry info (not to read, but moreso as signalling phrases).

The original version of my presentation for yesterday’s #ENGL496 class focused on Launchpad covers via the lens of Brandon Labelle’s “Lexicon of the Mouth: Poetics and Politics of the Voice and Oral Imagery.” “Thanks” (but also: Thanks) to a friend, however, I spent a not-insignificant hunk of time while in Montréal last month [explicitly avoiding “Clinical Encounters in Sexuality” by] reading Barthes’ “The Pleasure of the Text” and “Mythologies,” which eventually turned me on to “The Responsibility of Forms“–the book from which I ended up grabbing all of my signalling phrases/quotes from. This shift was tricksy, because historically the class has tended toward… not enjoying any mention of psychoanalysis really at all. Not sure how my re-skinning worked (if at all), but in the end it definitely wasn’t The Most Convoluted presentation I’ve ever given so at least There’s That.

For anyone curious about what all this meta-analysis actually refers to I’ve attached my presentation slides/notes below the cut:


Don’t touch the name unless someone asks.

Cite Barthes outright.

“The navigator-psychoanalyst must avoid [the following] at all costs: plugging one’s ears like the men of the crew, deploying deception and giving evidence of cowardice like Ulysses, or answering the siren’s invitation and vanishing.

What is thereby revealed is a listening no longer immediate but displaced, conducted in the space of another navigation, ‘which is that of narrative, the song no longer immediate but recounted.’” (257)


So here we’re looking at a simplistic overview of how publishers codify text genres. This makes books easier to market, and provides readers with a general sense of what type of narrative or information a text will contain.

Obviously a single text can be of multiple genres, but generally speaking only one or two will be chosen for any given text so as to not confuse an audience. This makes texts “fluent” within one or two genres at a time from a marketing standpoint.

Language socialization


Martin Vargic

Here we can see a somewhat more accurate representation of how genre actually works, in that each island is considered within a proximity to surrounding islands, seas, and oceans. Here we see “romanticism” existing in vastly different bodies of water (sea of antagonists, and sea of verse), for example. In considering genre in this way, we can see that something can both be fluent and dysfluent congruently (ie. Something may be fluent within the romanticism of the sea of antagonists, but dysfluent in the sea of verse).

Moby Dick is up in the peninsula that broaches adventure via the Cliche Sea, for example, also exists as a Victorian text. If we’re coming at it from Victorian Island, though, it can be difficult to see it as an adventure unless we change our context.


Play the whole damn thing.

“[…] but “listening” to a composition (taking the term here in it’s etymological sense) […] it is each sound on after the next that I listen to, not in its syntagmatic extension, but in its raw and as though vertical signifying: by deconstructing itself, listening is externalized, it compels the subject to renounce his “inwardness.”” (259)


Oftentimes “fluency” is assigned a pass/fail, in that you are either fluent or you aren’t. This… Is incorrect, as it draws a border of normative behavior based on a singular instance of affect. So: there reaches a point where we can recognize that something isn’t normative, but where that point is not universal or universally experienced. In anthropology we have a maxim: “It’s more complicated than that” that’s going to be really useful for us to hold on to, because to apply a singular codification upon something is to ignore the multiplicity in which it exists.

“What is it that listening, then, seeks to decipher? Essentially, it would appear, two things: the future (insofar as it belongs to the gods) or transgression (insofar as transgression is engendered by God’s gaze).” (250)


Specifically looking at musical conventions—or, rather or not such conventions exist for MIDI controllers, and videographic conventions of music covers/Launchpad covers on YouTube.


Can we define any conventions here? What are some differences/comparisons we can make between the (genre normative) cover, and the (non-normative) original?


Takes numerous samples (words, sounds) from their original context and brings them together in a rhythmic way so as to create the song Subverts genre conventions for Launchpad covers through colour cues


Follows several genre conventions for EDM in the song itself (Sampling, repetitive beat, use of cut/paste/pastiche) Follows several genre conventions for Launchpad videos on Youtube


“[…] there is no neutral voice—and if sometimes that neutrality, that whiteness of the voice occurs, it terrifies us, as if we were to discover a frozen world, on in which desire was dead.” (280)


Blert is a dysfluent text–This is true either in hearing it read by the author or in reading it

Blert is a fluent text–In that it belongs to a specific genre/school of poetry (that being Sound Poetry)

Valency and orientation of fluency

Wiki tho:

Sound poetry is an artistic form bridging literary and musical composition, in which the phonetic aspects of human speech are foregrounded instead of more conventional semantic and syntactic values; “verse without words”. By definition, sound poetry is intended primarily for performance.

Zang Tumb Tumb (sound/concrete poem published between 1912-1914 by Italian futurist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti) and ends with Bombardment; ‘In the middle these tam-tuuumb flattened 50 square kilometers leap 2-6-8 crashes clubs punches bashes quick-firing batteries. Violence ferocity regularity pendulum play fatality’



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