Our performers this evening will be Elizabeth, who will recite “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe; Palmyre, who will recite a piece by The Four Horsemen; and Joshua, who will recite “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot.

In this class we’ll discuss how we as critics should approach popular forms like spoken word. Is a spoken word performance a text that we can study like any other poem? Is it a happening, which we should study in its social context? Is it a politically subversive use of poetry?

The questions we will consider this week are directly related to some of the issues that came up during our discussion of slam poetry last week. For example, it became clear from Susan Somers-Willett’s chapter, and it was mentioned in class, that slam poetry is received very differently by different social groups. Obviously some people love it—and probably those who take part in it love it the most—while others—such as critic Harold Bloom, to cite one easy example—have been dismissive of it, saying essentially that it encourages the worst kind of pandering and produces “bad” poetry.

We’ve already made an attempt to answer the question “what is art?” but we haven’t really directly addressed a related question that for many people is even more important: “what is good art?” Why do some people think Taylor Mali, for example, is a genius, while others dismiss the entire genre and tradition in which he works? Studying slam poetry forces one, I think, to form an opinion on this question. One useful explanation can be found in the work of French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, and so I’m asking you to read the introduction from one of his most famous works, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. He uses the language of the social sciences, which may be hard to parse if you’re not used to it, but his book makes one very striking (and at the time it was published, very original) claim: that personal taste is a significant determinant of social class. The sentence in the introduction that expresses his idea most succinctly is, “Taste classifies, and it classifies the classifier.” In other words, your aesthetic decisions (that constitute your personal taste) do more than just categorize things that you like and things that you don’t like. They are also declarations of social affiliation. Harold Bloom does not go to Monster Truck Rallies, and Johnny Knoxville does not attend the opera (although I may be wrong on both counts), and the reasons have to do with more than simply pure aesthetic preference: it is at least partly because they identify with the other people who choose the same cultural activities. That, at least, is what Bourdieu suggests.

How can we apply this to spoken word/ slam poetry? That’s what I’d like you to think about for class. How is attending or taking part in a poetry slam an expression of social affiliation?

For some people, the idea that aesthetic choices are dictated by social affiliation or background—or even by social ambition—is distasteful, because they think it downplays individual agency. “I like what I like just because I like it,” they say, “not because all my friends do.” But to suggest that taste has a social dimension is not at all to suggest that it is somehow automatic or that people have no agency when it comes to taste. In fact, because taste has social ramifications, aesthetic choices can also have significant political meaning. Think of punk rock, which is the clearest example I can point to in which aesthetic choices (loud music and crazy haircuts) made a blatant critique of the political status quo. Which brings us to the second big question that I want to address in this week’s class: in what ways is poetry performance a political act? What is the effect of slam poetry, for example, on hegemonic political structures? (If you’ve always wondered what “hegemony” meant, exactly, this is a good time to find out, because it will be essential to our discussion on Thursday.)

There are two well-known texts that I think will shed some light on this question for us: Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle (I’m giving you the first chapter) and Michel de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life (I’m giving you just a few key excerpts).

Debord was an activist as well as a writer, and known as one of the main founders of the Situationist International. In this, his most famous work, he says that mass culture serves a particularly important role in the maintenance of a capitalist system, because it creates a fantasy that essentially distracts people from the reality of their economic enslavement (kind of like The Matrix). It is very easy for the dominant culture to appropriate and assimilate even those manifestations of culture that are superficially resistant to the status quo, because even those resistant cultural forms are presented as commodities and become a part of “the spectacle.” You may go to the cinema to watch “An Inconvenient Truth,” for example, but in doing so you haven’t changed anything about environmental politics, you’ve just added $12 to the economy of the film industry.

So again, how can we relate this to slam poetry? In what ways do poetry slams encourage poets to examine and critique social problems, and in what ways do they simply add to the society of the spectacle? Do you think that Debord’s idea, which he first wrote about in the 1960s, is even relevant anymore?

Finally, in order to analyze performance poetry as a political act, we have to talk about power and the different forms it takes. This is where the word “hegemony” becomes useful: it refers to the dominant political forces in a given society, but “political forces” here doesn’t mean the government, the military, the police (those structures that actually use physical force or the threat of physical force). Rather, hegemony (in the sense I’m using it here, as proposed by Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci) refers to the pervasive system of cultural means by which one group maintains power over other groups, not through coercion but through consent. When we talk about politically “resistant” art, we’re talking about art that withholds its consent from hegemonic forces. Obviously, though, it’s difficult to identify this sort of resistance, because it’s difficult to identify hegemony.

I bring all this up by way of introduction to the final reading, an excerpt from French philosopher Michel De Certeau. One of the main ideas in this book, and the main thing that I want you to take away from this reading, is the distinction he makes between strategies and tactics. Basically, for De Certeau there is a constant struggle in society between groups with different political, economic, and cultural interests; this should come as no surprise to anyone who read a newspaper during the recent election. However, these different groups have different degrees of power, and therefore the ways they choose to undertake the struggle are different: powerful groups use strategies, and less powerful or disempowered groups use tactics. If you are a poor or otherwise marginalized member of society, chances are that tactics represent your best means of effecting change in society.

De Certeau also makes the important point that the practice of everyday life—the way we cook, eat, walk, talk, dress, and sleep—should not be mistaken for passive, neutral behavior. The decisions we make about our everyday actions are one way we determine  our relationship to society, and therefore they are worthy of examination. He mentions TV, for example: its significance in our lives is not limited to what we watch, but also includes how we use the content we get from TV, what we make of it. This idea I find particularly relevant to studying spoken word or slam poetry because the audience of a poetry slam doesn’t just watch; they actively participate in creating the event.

So, taking into account the framework I’ve outlined above, when you read these texts I want you to give some thought to how they can help us understand poetry performance, and in class we’re going to look at some examples of performed texts (slam poems, advertisements, songs) and ask these questions: who likes these performances and who doesn’t? What are the social and political ramifications of those preferences? Do these performances participate in or resist the maintenance of hegemony?

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  1.   nmatth01

    While certainly a lot to process, I may have to go about melding ideas and theories as I go. Firstly, my attendance of a poetry slam is reflective of my own personal “tastes”. As I understood it, Bourdieu likens “tastes” to a cultural caste systems of sorts—i.e., because of my appreciation of poetry, language, and writing, I am more inclined to “see” something of value in slam poetry than a person with differing “tastes”, or as Bourdieu calls “A beholder who lacks the specific code feels lost in a chaos of sounds and rhythms, colours and lines, without rhyme or reason”(2). I can’t completely agree with this sentiment because it is severely limiting of an individual’s ability to experience anything of significance outside of their given knowledge, and also neglects the possibility of experience itself (visceral reactions) to extend beyond this structure of “taste”.

    Moving on from my personal taste leading me to attend a poetry slam, is the acknowledgement that said slam is an active participation in a spectacle. I found Deboard’s 29th (point?) to be most relevant here, ” The spectacle is simply the common language that bridges the division….the spectacle unites what is separate, but it unites it only in its separateness” (22). A poetry slam is certainly a spectacle in that it is an event/performance that is exists outside of the work-day regime. I look at it like this; I left work at 3 pm, paid fifteen dollars (round trip) to get into NYC, then an additional $4.50 for subway fare, only to pay a ten dollar admission fee, to see performances for a three hour period, and then proceed back home. This breakdown’s intent is not to undermine the slam itself, but rather, to place it in the context of spectacle.

    Lastly, in accepting that I attended the poetry slam as spectacle, I must question to what ends was my attendance part of a social affiliation that was either participating or resisting in the maintenance of hegemony? If De-Certeau’s classifications of strategy and tactics are to be believed, than I would qualify the intentions of the slam poet’s as tactical. I garnered that tactics stem from a marginalization of sorts, a lack of power and opportunity that manifests itself in reactionary bursts in an attempt to illicit change. If I (as an audience member), effectively participated in this spectacle, in this tactical expression of ideas because of my “tastes”, am I part of a social group experience that is resisting hegemony? Well, whatever experiences I had during the performance are mine, whatever thoughts they spawned, and whatever collective energy reverberated throughout those walls for those few hours— all of this in the context of Debord was a spectacle. Yet, while money and time were spent in effort to attend it, while the Bowery Poetry Club is still in existence because of the profits it made that night, even while the myriad poet’s outcries to racism, love, equality, and politics remain unresolved, I feel, that this very spectacle which I attended serves the purpose of attempting to resist hegemony by its continuing performance.

    Nationwide these slams continue. This group of people/poets with a particular “taste” are using performance as a tactic to speak their minds and connect with whoever is willing to listen.

  2.   coreyfrost

    Interesting how you’ve integrated the three readings in your analysis, Nick. At the end you bring up an important assertion, which is open to debate: the idea that “speaking your mind” is, in and of itself, a resistant act. Expression is certainly more effective than silence in most cases, but just for the sake of argument, are there any ways in which “speaking your mind” might be problematic or counterproductive? How do the rest of you feel?

  3.   alee909

    In response to the question about speaking your mind, I thought about a conversation session I had with two friends over the weekend that might be relevant? Sometimes, we get into debates about various issues, and I’m always cognizant of how pitiful I am in these ‘argument’ situations. In these situations, I’m so slow and un-witty that I end up sputtering and tripping over my feet like a damn fool, even though I know I’m right about something. In contrast, my friend is so intelligent, quick-witted, and even greasy, using the straw-man method and red herrings to keep me slipping and sliding all over the place. So maybe this is a situation where ‘speaking my mind’ is problematic and counterproductive.

    I think we can relate some of this week’s readings to the arena of this blog. Does anyone feel pressure to portray themselves a certain way when posting on this blog? I think about the quote from Bourdieu: ‘Culture also has its titles of nobility – awarded by the educational system – and its pedigrees, measured by seniority in admission to the nobility.’ I think the atmosphere of this blog and our class in general is interesting/refreshing because there are simultaneous dynamics of ‘intellectual’ and colloquial rhetoric that aren’t present in some other classes we’ve taken. I know that my ‘eating habits’ vary drastically from one moment to the next.

  4.   coreyfrost

    Really interesting comment, Andrei. What you said about the conversation with your friends seems to indicate not that “speaking your mind” is undesirable, but that it is not always attainable. I’m often aware of this too: one of the most frustrating things in the world is knowing that you’re right, but knowing also that you won’t win the argument just because you can’t express what you know. This is an interesting problem, though: it implies that our language is not always adequate to the task of describing our thought and perception. Ludwig Wittgenstein, who I think has been mentioned in class already, once supposedly said that his work should be considered as having two parts: the written part, and the part that remained unwritten and unsaid, even unsayable. It was the second part that he said was most important. Given this limitation of language, how should we interpret the concept of “speaking your mind”? How can we be sure that what we speak really represents what is on our mind?

    As for the dynamics of this blog/class, I would think that like any other social structure it has its subtle pressures… anyone want to comment? Do you have any sense that the aesthetic choices you display in class (like which texts you like or don’t like) will have an effect on your social standing? What about on your grade? (Since we all know that grades represent status/currency in the social economy of college.)

  5.   nahmed

    Andrei stated: ” I think the atmosphere of this blog and our class in general is interesting/refreshing because there are simultaneous dynamics of ‘intellectual’ and colloquial rhetoric that aren’t present in some other classes we’ve taken.” I would have to completely agree with this statement.

    When posting on Blackboard for my classes, I often feel a lot of pressure to write a certain way. In these other classes I DO feel the pressure to “portray myself a certain way”. It seems that when my other classmates post I have to decipher what they are saying like I have to decipher the writings found in anthologies. However, in this class I can speak/write whatever is in my mind without trying to phrase it to sound all “scholarly”. I also appreciate my classmates views more because I don’t have to spend so much time trying to figure out what they are saying!

  6.   Joshua Lindenbaum

    Reading Bourdieu’s writing was like reading a credit card agreement contract; I was left confused and frustrated. His style of writing seemed intended for a very specific crowd and not for the general population. But I managed to extract some information out of his scientific-logic writing style. “Taste classifies, classifies its classifiers.” In other words, what you like in terms of art, food, and many other facets of culture reflect who you are as a person, and what class you belong to. In some respects, this statement is true, but in other respects, completely wrong.

    Imbrication happens quite frequently when it comes to taste. Rich people do in fact eat McDonalds. And I’m sure that there are Gangsters that listen to opera (ehemm mafia). Not to say that a person’s taste doesn’t give insight into which class they derive from or their education, but I would like to say that people do and can transcend their environment and upbringing. People cross dividers. People are not going to neatly fit into categories; we are not shapes that are merely placed into a corresponding space . . . we are shaped and we shape.

    Once again a philosopher has tried to separate two entities in order to understand them, ironically in doing so, the philosopher has done the opposite of his intended goal. Understanding reality is not neat. We want it to be, but it’s not. Reality is a complicated recipe in which we try to re-create, but we don’t have the ingredients. We can only cook in the dark of our own minds.

  7.   jaygwelsh

    I admittedly had a tricky time understanding Debord, but I felt that the best way I could sum him up was with his maxim no. 9 “in a world that really has been turned on its head, truth is a moment of falsehood” (Debord, 14). I felt that given the context – the idea that culture is an opiate for the teeming masses – how far does the rabbit hole go? As I read it, everything is a “spectacle” – everything we do is some sideshow to a picture too big for us to see. And while the elites claim right to wielding the power of culture, but who’s to say that they aren’t subject to it as well? As Debord might have seen it, truth was lying and lying was truth (considering how culture’s a spectacle). And now that we seem to be plunging into metaphysical aspects of culture (who is the super-elites driving the elites?), I follow Buddha’s stance that what lies beneath the surface doesn’t matter. If we remove that aspect – of whether or not our love for performance poetry is used against us – than we are left with nothing more than an artform that does raise awareness of certain social issues such as poverty and hunger and crime and ignorance and such. However, since poetry does nothing but raise awareness – and not directly combat the problems – could I play devil’s advocate against myself and say that performance poetry is actually a spectacle of Debord’s vision? Did I just confused myself? Do I even know what I’m talking about?

    Isn’t it slightly ironic that the English language constantly looks to the French linguists and philosophers for literary advice?

    Speaking of hegemony and who truly commands our attention in literature…whether or not performance poetry is for or against hegemony, I would have to say that it’s against. I always saw performance poetry – and especially poetry slams – as being a rebellion against the intellectual past of literature. The fact that performance poetry is meant to be visual – and thus easily accessible – appeals to those who may feel discouraged by high school memories of trying to fathom T. S. Eliot or any of the other poets who simultaneously treated poetry as a thesis and are held up as the golden standard of poetry.

    Of course, not to say that there’s anything wrong with that. As much as I like performance poetry, I adore Eliot. It’s a sign of the hegemonic power. So I guess we could alter the question slightly and ask, if it’s true and performance poetry is against hegemony, is it effective? If that is the question, then I feel that it isn’t effective. Victors write the history book, and so the schools teach Whitman, Dickinson, Pound, Eliot, etc. I doubt I will live to see the day where high schools across America offer classes on Saul Williams, Andrea Gibson, Jared Paul, Mayda del Valle, etc.

    -James Welsh

  8.   mmullin1

    In response to the speaking your mind question, I feel the only way speaking my mind would be problematic or counterproductive would be to be speaking it in the wrong venue of conversation or at the wrong point in time. What I mean by venue of conversation is that I could be talking in a place or with a group who do not partiularly agree with what I am saying. If a skinhead walks in to a room full of black people, and he starts throwing around racial slurs, then he’ll probably get his ass kicked, which would make speaking his mind very problematic. A counterproductive way of speaking your mind would be to tell the authority figure in school or a work something negatively you feel about them right to your face. Although sometimes problematic and counterproductive, I think speaking your mind is the only way to keep yourself sane. Just imagine how horrible it would be if you were never able to get something you felt across to anyone? I think that is the beauty of slam poetry.
    Slam poetry is an excellent way to get something out about how you really feel. Whether or not someone likes it is up to them, but at least you have a chance to speak your mind. The same could be said about spoken word as well.
    In response to the Bourdieu reading, I don’t agree with how he feels that “taste” has to do with social class. That’s bullshit. People do like what they like because they like it and there is no one out there that can justify why people prefer things. I do though however, understand what he is saying when he talks about the education aspect of is argument that class has to do with perception of art. The “better” the education, the more appreciation you have to art forms that require attention to form and cultural significance. To a differently educated person, a painting that has social context to the likes of which they have never been exposed to would surely not have the same meaning. How could it when one party might know more about than another? But I still think that taste is not as determined by class than Bourdieu is implying.

  9.   srogers101

    Aside from the apocalyptic tilt of the kind you might see hastily scribbled on the water chewed cardboard belonging to a homeless peripatetic there was substantial prescience in the theory for the week. I suppose the irony is that the homeless man’s place as tactic without the hegemony of a university or France is why his version of “the end is near” lacks authority. The ability for the system to adapt to initial introductions of entropy aimed to displace and hopefully nullify the self contained and self perpetuating continuum that is The Matrix is kinda like the Darwinist success of human artifice except for its apparent weakness to fucking wicked kung fu. This is readily apparent in its sadistic guerilla use of irony. The codes are bullshit and really just part of this huge discourse we had no say in and we will make fun of it with verbal voyeurism. And then it took that too. Motherfucker. How do you ironicize irony. You can’t go back to immersion in the codes and since we know codes are ephemeral it’d be silly to make up new ones. I saw a commercial that drew attention to itself as a fucking commerical. The metanarratives of Pynchon and Barthes and Heller have been stolen by a company that makes maxi pads. Some girl walks on and says I’m a “racially neutral twenty something that fits this or that demographic” (this is poorly restated but it was to that effect and I almost went out and bought maxi pads despite no biological need for them). So if we’re fighting this big unnameable thing I guess the question becomes why fight it? If it’s just some elaborate game figure out how to play and get good at it I suppose. The problem is though, with this particular game, is that it’s way unfair and completely indifferent to circumstance. It becomes as silly as saying everyone’s success will be decided by their ability as a basketball player. If you fail you must then become a drug addict, prisoner, or some other “tactic” that wanders around the sidelines and you can’t have a ball or sneakers. By proletariatizing the world with spectacle the hegemon in the broadest sense hasn’t introduced equality but instead has forced the detritus of the world to think that their failings are their own and that’s quite a confidence game. So now an incest “survivor” thinks it might be her fault that the conventions didn’t protect her. That there is something alien about her existence. And the only part available for this ridiculous Truman Show is to turn tricks to shoot smack so that she can forget herself for awhile and there is no shortage of that available and that’s how it survives. It constructs truths to embody and if it the truth is too daunting it’s stockpiled an amalgam of ways to forget the truth you might have circumstantially absorbed.

  10.   Sean Nicholson

    Pierre Bourdieu claims in our reading this week that, “A work of art has meaning and interest only for someone who possesses the cultural competence, that is, the code, into which it is encoded.” While the quote above may be applicable to works of literature like Eliot’s “The Wasteland” or sculptures that are half destroyed, I think that the one artistic arena in which this quote fails is that of music. Music has the ability to transcend socio-economic divides because of its universal appeal. For example, we could play part of an opera for someone from the inner-city who has never had exposure to opera and they still may find interest and meaning in the song. However, Bourdieu’s claim is that because this person does not have the understanding of classical composition, they are incapable of finding meaning and interest in the opera. This ignores that fact that sometimes we are interested by the things about which we have the least cultural competence. Of course, having this cultural competence would most likely enhance our understanding and appreciation of the work, but to claim that it is necessary is reductive to the point of condescension.

    To comment on the question about the tone of the blog, I think that there is a definite attempt to create a persona with our responses that may not be the same persona that we present in class. For example, Sean Rogers (sorry you were the easiest example) has been writing these wonderful Dennis Miller-esque rants on the blog for weeks but his personality in class seems much more conversational.

  11.   Anonymous

    This is in response to Andrei’s question? I don’t feel pressure to express myself in a certain way on this blog. I must admit that some bloggers can be intimidating in the way they write and the length they write. I try to be as natural about it as I can. Each time I write on this blog I remind myself that I am speaking my mind but most importantly that if people choose to judge my intelligence base on what I say and how I choose to say it, that it’s their problem. I am not gonna write a lengthy blog if I don’t feel the need to. Sometimes I express what I want to say in a few sentences because I take a straight to the point and direct approach.

    To Prof. Corey: I find it weird how people won’t win an argument because they can’t express what they want to say in way so that people can understand it. I am the type of person who likes to win when I know I am right. I’ll just repeat myself a thousand times until someone gets what I am trying to say. I will only give up if there’s a fight coming. My husband says that I make sense sometimes but because I add extra stuff people won’t accept that I am right. I think it’s a man’s thing. Men want you to argue with them in a certain way, otherwise even if they know you’re right they won’t admit it.

  12.   pseraphin

    This is in response to Andrei’s question? I don’t feel pressure to express myself in a certain way on this blog. I must admit that some bloggers can be intimidating in the way they write and the length they write. I try to be as natural about it as I can. Each time I write on this blog I remind myself that I am speaking my mind but most importantly that if people choose to judge my intelligence base on what I say and how I choose to say it, that it’s their problem. I am not gonna write a lengthy blog if I don’t feel the need to. Sometimes I express what I want to say in a few sentences because I take a straight to the point and direct approach.

    To Prof. Corey: I find it weird how people won’t win an argument because they can’t express what they want to say in way so that people can understand it. I am the type of person who likes to win when I know I am right. I’ll just repeat myself a thousand times until someone gets what I am trying to say. I will only give up if there’s a fight coming. My husband says that I make sense sometimes but because I add extra stuff people won’t accept that I am right. I think it’s a man’s thing. Men want you to argue with them in a certain way, otherwise even if they know you’re right they won’t admit it.

  13.   gfl11131988

    Queens College
    Professor Corey Frost
    ENGL 781
    Response # 10
    George Festin Lorenzo
    11/11/2010

    These sets of readings were quite interesting, especially when factoring in different aspects of people depending on the class they are a part of. Pierre Bourdieu makes an interesting claim when he writes, “scientific observation shows that cultural needs are the product of upbringing and education: surveys establish that all cultural practices…and preferences in literature, painting or music, are closely linked to educational level…and secondarily to social origin” (1). I would tend to agree with that statement and this goes back to when the Professor wrote in the blog intro, “Harold Bloom does not go to Monster Truck Rallies, and Johnny Knoxville does not attend the opera…the reasons have to do with more than simply pure aesthetic preference: it is at least partly because they identify with the other people who choose the same cultural activities”. Due to the fact that some people are more applicable their life than others, people are more willing to lean towards a stereotypical social event that fits with them for purposes of feeling comfortable.
    However, on the opposite end of that, Joshua makes a statement I would like to agree with and that is when he writes, “Not to say that a person’s taste doesn’t give insight into which class they derive from or their education, but I would like to say that people do and can transcend their environment and upbringing. People cross dividers”. I also agree with that and for me, one particular experience comes to mind and it happened rather recently. I was with a friend, starving at about 11:30 PM and we decided to get 53rd and 6th Halal (the best Halal available of course). He noticed a bunch of rich-looking people (they were in suits and dresses), eating the same thing we were and wondered why, assuming Halal was not something they would be interested in. My answer was that this food was something everyone could enjoy, regardless of class, because it’s so damn good and cheap. So obviously, there are just some things that will be popular regardless of a person’s income status or social status.

  14.   gfl11131988

    BTW, I do not think this system incorporated the fact that DayLightSavings Time is over.

    I posted at 8:54 AM, not 9:54 AM, as my time may seem to indicate. I’m sure this applies to numerous classmates of mine. Thanks.

    -George Festin Lorenzo

  15.   Elizabeth

    i found the first article, “A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste” to be very interesting, in that it states what I’ve always believed. Do we like what we like because we’re supposed to like it? Do we like what we like because we’re trained to like it? Because we’re expected to like it?

    The idea that a “work of art has meaning and interest only for someone who possesses the cultural competence, that is, the code, into which it is encoded” is both a bit depressing and limiting, but probably true. The fact is, not matter how much I try and accustom myself to it, i will never like metal music. If I had made friends that liked it and grew up in that scene, maybe I would be obsessed with it and listen to it to the exclusion of others. Instead, I grew up surrounded with show tunes (much to my husband’s dismay). That is what I grew up with, that is what I can evaluate best, and that is what I like.

    I know we’re all harping on it, but the idea of how we portray ourselves “how we make a spectacle of ourselves” on the blog is interesting, but I think we do it all the time. I know for myself I tend to take a laid-back tone, trying to fit the formality of these readings or video clips into informal terms. I don’t need to psychoanalyze this or anything, but I think we all go out of our way to be a certain way. When Palmyre said that she doesn’t feel that she is “as natural about [posting on the blog]” as she can be, I see what she means. She writes the way she talks, which is fun to read. However, we would never write this way for a master’s thesis. The fact that we can fit ourselves into the situation and expectation is both interesting, necessary, and a performance.

  16.   Elizabeth

    P.S. Sorry this is so late.

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