By James M. Wilce
Construction on ethnographic fieldwork and huge historic facts, Crying disgrace analyzes lament throughout hundreds of thousands of years and approximately each continent.Explores the long-lasting strength of lament: expressing grief via crying songs, usually in a collective ritual contextDraws at the author’s broad ethnographic fieldwork, and targeted long term engagement and participation within the phenomenonOffers a startling new viewpoint at the nature of modernity and postmodernityAn very important addition to becoming literature on cultural globalization
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Extra info for Crying Shame: Metaculture, Modernity, and the Exaggerated Death of Lament
The evolution of the lexical semantics of Greek lament went hand in hand with the social evolution of Greek society, for example Solon’s attempt to ban women’s wailing – but not the more staid, entextualized performances of men commemorating other men. Translation always faces the problem of incommensurability, not least in the number and type of categories in the original and target languages. Translation of such terms involves comparing two cultural systems of meaning; as such it is metacultural.
That excludes the blues. But even if we restrict our definition to dirges – and as we shall see, we ought not – how can we acknowledge their variability around the world while holding on to a sense of their unity? Definitions in diversity Is there one thing appropriately labeled “lament”? If so, what is it? Why would we think that a single English label could possibly make sense of various genres of song, poetry, and wailing performed around the world, when those genres are governed by very local aesthetic traditions?
Qxd 18/08/2008 10:40 AM Page 23 What is Lament Anyway? 23 Hall’s was no private grief but rather the postmodern kind, quite public (Walter 1994:41; see also Chapters 10 and 11 below). Hall’s grief circulates – through the mass media, in print, and in broadcast interviews. Are his poems laments? Yes and no. They are entextualizations of grief (grief channeled into memorable discourse), yes; but they were not spontaneously improvised for tearful public performance. Hall wrote his poems in the privacy of his home for later circulation to a mass public readership.
Crying Shame: Metaculture, Modernity, and the Exaggerated Death of Lament by James M. Wilce