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Dramatic discourse in poetry.

Guido, Maria Grazia.; (1994) Dramatic discourse in poetry. Doctoral thesis , Institute of Education, University of London. Green open access

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This thesis is a theoretical and philosophical discussion of the nature of poetic discourse, with a subsequent discussion of pedagogic practice arising from the views expressed, whose effectiveness is illustrated by a subjective selection of protocols. The central claim is that the peculiar nature of poetic discourse is inherently dramatic, since it internalizes 'voices'. Therefore, to achieve a total experience of poetry the reader needs to engage his own schemata in their body/thought entirety. This implies that he has not to limit himself to the 'sounding' of the 'voices' he achieves in the text just within his 'inward ear', but he has to 'embody' them, 'inhabit' them within a 'physical space of representation', letting them inter-act with other readers' embodiments. In so doing, the reader becomes an Acting Reader. The contribution this thesis offers to research on Discourse Analysis and Literary Stylistics consists in recognizing the vocal, 'physical' dimension of poetic texts (a dimension which is often neglected) as a way of achieving a more thorough personal awareness of the poetic experience. Accordingly, I elaborate a principled pedagogic approach to poetic language through the reader's use of drama techniques with the aim to demonstrate how it can be relevant in the teaching of poetry to either Ll or L2 students at both High School and University levels. So that in the theoretical part (Chapters 1-4) I place my rationale against a context of 'new-critic', semiotic, and deconstructionist approaches to literary theory and teaching methodology to demonstrate how they imply only a one-way communication of a pre-established interpretation (Chapters 1-2). Then I describe the first 'two phases' of the reader's activation of 'familiarizing' top-down and 'defamiliarizing' bottom-up strategies in his attempt to authenticate the peculiar structural and semantic arrangement of the poetic text (Chapter 3). Eventually, these two top-down/bottom-up phases come to merge during the final interactive phase (Chapter 4) in which I postulate a group of acting readers' multiple 'embodied' poetic discourses - controlled by the same poetic text - inter-acting in a representational 'physical' space to recreate selves, schemata, and iconic contexts. This theory systematically informs the practical part of my research (Chapters 5-9) consisting in 'dialogic' classroom operationalizations of each of the three phases. I pragmatically demonstrate (through protocol analysis) that to be conceptually receptive to poetic language the student/acting-reader needs to be physically prepared to be receptive to it. Stylistics, thus, is meant as the analysis of the acting reader's own responses, not as the analysis of the text (Chapter 5). I first provide 'top-down' affective evidence that the nature of schemata is essentially 'bodily', as the body is the experiential way to conceptualization (Chapter 6). Then, I show students/acting-readers' 'bottom-up' cognitive embodiments of ideational/interpersonal 'voices' in both macro- and micro-communication (Chapter 7), to finally describe groups of acting readers' pragmatic achievements of 'interactive' dramatic embodiments of collective poetic discourses (Chapter 8). I conclude (Chapter 9) by indicating possible theoretical and pedagogic developments of my rationale.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Dramatic discourse in poetry.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Poetry,Reading,Communication skills,Oral reading,Dramatic presentation,Oral expression
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10021510
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