Thursday, March 17, 2005

Antanagoge, Dirimens Copulatio, and Catachretic Irony

Subject: Re: rhetoric question
Date: March 8, 2005 2:29:48 PM MST

Lorna, Brilliant, and this comes from someone who has actually read--if "read" is what one does here--Quintilian's Institutes, but who could not have answered M's question. Cheers, P

On Mar 4, 2005, at 9:20 PM, MW wrote:

Dear Colleagues:
I received the following question from a student the answer to which, I'm embarrassed to say, I don't know. Does anyone know what this rhetorical figure is called? If not, I'll just make something up.

Hi, M
here is the question:

What is it called when, in a poem or essay, the author includes a dramatic
switch form funny to depressing, or something of that sort? This rhetorical
device is used often in performance poetry or essay's.

so it's like this:


What is that switch called? What this device does is create a dichotomy
allowing for the latter of the emotional sections to be dramatically emphasized
due its juxtaposition with the prior.

Subject: Re: rhetoric question

Antanagoge. Or Dirimens Copulatio. Or a combination of both spoken in irony (yes, a foreign language--I love that) and tripled for effect.

Closest to what your student might be getting at can be found in the lyrics of Billie Holliday:

"Oh my man, I love him so!
He'll never know.
All my life is just despair
But I don't care."
--Billie's Blues

Used a lot in the playing of the "dozens."

Does that help? Just off the top of my head.

Poetics 101

Lorna Dee

Yeah. Too bad I'm not allowed to teach it. Too bad my Poetics course was cut from the books. Too bad this wasn't circulated to the faculty list from whence it originated. Too bad I don't answer as such. Too bad I don't get to talk Aristotle with the football team (catachretic irony & an inside joke). Too bad I'm not allowed to run grad poetry workshops with the students who come here to work with me. Too bad the only real intellectual stimulation I get is reading these blogs. Too bad collegial conversation is limited to my "colorful!" clothing & enchiladas. I tell T that first day On the Blog when he asks, gently, if I've been working on the books (deadline: April Fools!), "I read real poetry today! I feel like I was walking around (allusion to Neruda) & someone's kitchen door was open & I couldn't help but hear the music and catch the conversation, I just couldn't help but walk right in." Later, I tell him I had just read the most amazing poem my first time out blog-rolling when I clicked on a link on Eduardo's blog, "Avoiding the Muse." "How could I resist that name?" I tell him, "How can I resist avoiding the muse? Some people wash dishes. But it's ironic. There the muse resides." I tell him about C. Dale Young's poem, "Torn." "It's like I open a door & walk in & here She is! Poetry! She's back!" And he knows what I mean, that door that's hard to open because you know you won't want to leave the party and your son is begging to eat. There's fish to fry. It's hard to enter into that seamless timespace of poetry, that long journey out the other side of creating a *Book*—much less five.

"How come I don't get this at school?"

Too bad I finally get lobbed a ball I can actually hit. An easy one. I know it off the bat. It's got something to do with consciousness. And, getting -ucked.

Catachretic irony. It doesn't seem to be the books. Not an Aristotlian concept. Not to be found in the Organum. Think about it. The best example yet. Are we laughing yet? I am. When a word means it's opposite & posited as "Truth." More than the Fool revealed to be the Wise. Like being asked (for the 3rd time in my case) to sign a loyalty oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Duh. I'm a public educator. And an Injun. (I'm dedicating my life to educating for Democracy when I could get rid of the carriage returns and write novels, that is, *real* "literature" for real money instead of teaching "rich white kids" for a third of Ward's salary.) Ever hear of the Iroquois Confederacy? Our "Founding Fathers" cut their political teeth on treaty negotiations with the Elders. Treaties that were never honored. The word "freedom" appears for the first time in the "History of the World" after an indigenous peoples' gathering in Paris before the Revolution. (Read The Federalist Papers) Freedom. A Native concept. Or, as a lover who lived as the Peoples lived 200 years ago said, "Freedom is standing right here, with nobody telling you, 'You can't stand here!'" Works for me. Catachretic irony: forcing my son to Pledge Allegiance to the *Flag* rather than the law of the land or The Bill of Rights. Catachretic irony: "One nation, under God" and we are the remnants of those wiped out for standing in the place of Not-God. "I Pledge Allegiance to the Cross & The Book." Or, suffer. Or, when Bacon praises the progress of Man as the "Rape of Nature" and Man rapes us, instead, the Native who stands, gonging forever on the reverberation of endless metonymic substitution: Nature=Beast=Savage ("salvages")=Indian=slave=Colored=Mexican=Arab..., et al. And woman is not Man, and Native Woman not "Mom" and apple pie. Native Woman=Not. Memetic, that is.

Litost. As well. (Read Book of Laughter, Book of Forgetting by Milan Kundera.) There's the Laughter of the Angels. And there's the Devil's caCKLE.

Rhetoric, the Signifying Monkey. The Poetry & Pedagogy of the Oppressed. A ferreting out The Rhetoric of the Signified.

Ah! Mend!

Ah, mend.

A Men. (duh)



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