[Milton-L] Let me not

Carl Bellinger bcarlb at comcast.net
Sat Mar 20 17:07:24 EDT 2010


To make spacing equal [so that a line below will match one above

A]   create the email in courier  [you may have to change to from "plain text" format to rtf beore your tool bar will offer choices of type face ... see "format" on the tool bar

B]   alert receivers of the message that they must do the same, and that to do so they may have to hit the "forward" choice --as if they were going to forward the email-- and THEN change to a "format" like rtf that will offer the courier option, and then change to courier (because the sender's courier work may be stripped off in transit.

I would like to someone who really knows these issues, provide to Milton-L users instructions for both senders and receivers [optional instructions of course; wee are for liberty] to the end that everything is always legible, and nice and neat, and sweet and goodly....   I get many'a message on my machine with a horrible-small type-face, or that has no word-wrap so the text drifts off the screen a great distance, or as here that does not show spacing on the receiver's end that has much relation to what was sent.

Carl
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Michael Gillum 
  To: John Milton Discussion List 
  Sent: Saturday, March 20, 2010 2:03 PM
  Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Let me not


  Another try at spacing the diagram:


  ...di...dum..di..dum.di.dum..di..dum.di.....dum
  .......X...........X..............................X
  LET me NOT to the MARriage  of TRUE MINDS



  On Sat, Mar 20, 2010 at 1:59 PM, Michael Gillum <mgillum at unca.edu> wrote:

    Thanks, Arlene, for making your theoretical position clear. I agree that meter exists apart from language, but I disagree in that I think that meter is also realized more or less distinctly in lines correctly understood and sounded. In my understanding, iambic meter is not a simple unchanging absolute but a system that includes systematic variation, for example inversion of accent or weaker-than-average beats (which in Richard Strier's language are "seen-as" beats).


     Let me try to illustrate how Shakespeare's metric rhythm is a systematic transformation of the iambic norm line. I hope the spacing works. The top line represents the norm line. The bottom line represents what I take to be the most natural and expressive stressing of the language, which in this case is also a metrical scansion. The X represents a chiasmus, showing how adjacent positions in the norm line are reversed in the actual line: two ideal di-dums are realized as dum-di, then an ideal dum-di is realized as di-dum.  (I am speaking without reference to foot-boundaries.) So syllables 1-2, 3-4, and 8-9 have their metric values reversed in relation to the norm line. This principle of adjacent inversion (first stated by Attridge?) governs deviation from the alternating contour of the norm line in iambic verse. This principle is part of the iambic convention as practiced by poets from, say, Spenser on. However, Shakespeare's line is a bit of an outlaw in that adjacent inversions of the 1-2 or trochaic type are usually not admitted. 




    ...di...dum..di..dum.di.dum..di...dum.di.....dum
    .......X.............X.................................X
    LET me NOT to the MARriage  of TRUE MINDS


    So the rhythm of the actual line is a rule-governed transformation of the ideal line.


    Michael



    On Sat, Mar 20, 2010 at 12:07 PM, Arlene Stiebel <amstiebel at verizon.net> wrote:


      More on readings -- a late addition to the conversation:

      This line traditionally has been such a popular example of the interplay of
      meter and rhythm, it seems almost too easy to analyze.
      It’s very simple, really.

      Meter is an abstraction void of language.

      The line is perfect, unaltered  Iambic Pentameter:   x / x / x / x / x /

                     Let  me    not  to    the  mar - riage  of    true  minds

      The line plays syntactic stress (prose reading) against the pentameter, so
      that many variant readings IN PERFORMANCE are possible.  The line fights the
      rather singsong iambic pattern to produce a combination of meter and rhythm
      (subjective performance choices) that form a complex structure in combining
      multiple levels of stress based on accented and unaccented syllables as
      determined by  1) place in the line, i.e., meter  2) linguistic stress
      (unalterable accent) and 3) performance choice (dramatic stress – reader’s
      option).  It’s a lovely poem, and no one reading does it justice.

      Also, the complexity is enhanced by the use of enjambment – the run-on line
      to the full stop at “impediment.”  Nice, huh?

      Although meter, as an abstract pattern, is absolute, the enactment of it
      (and rhythm) is by degree.  Stress may be performed by changes in volume,
      pitch and duration, and like musical performance, is subject to many varying
      iterations.  As scholars, aren't we lucky that there will almost never be a
      definitive reading of almost anything!

      --Arlene



      -----Original Message-----
      From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
      [mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of richard strier
      Sent: Saturday, March 20, 2010 8:34 AM
      To: John Milton Discussion List
      Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Let me not

      The question, as I see it, is not whether meter has a relation to meaning
      but how
      this relation is to be understood.

      I believe that Mr. Gillum already asked what this "nominalism" consists of,
      and
      why the position that meter should be performed should be called that.
      Please
      do clarify.

      ---- Original message ----
      >Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2010 14:19:59 -0400
      >From: James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
      >Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Let me not
      >To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
      >
      >   I think that any consideration of meter apart from
      >   possible ramifications upon meaning is a defective
      >   one.  However, the relationship between metrical
      >   beat and conceptual stress is not the only way that
      >   meter and meaning interact.  An interogative is
      >   necessarily pronounced differently than a
      >   declarative or an exclamatory, the presence of
      >   expletives can affect metrical stress, etc.  I am
      >   not saying that meter impacts meaning in all
      >   sentences, of course, or even in most.  But, it
      >   does and can.  But, again, perhaps I am too much of
      >   a nominalist and think that meter should be
      >   reflected in how we pronounce lines. 
      >    
      >   Jim
      >    
      >
      >       Again, I think Gillum is right.  # 1 is
      >       certainly the version that makes most
      >       metrical sense.
      >
      >       I'm not sure that I understand what meter
      >       producing "a patently wrong-headed
      >       or spurious meaning" means.  Meter, as I
      >       understand it, should NOT be
      >       determined by meaning.
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