Read-A-Thons: the emotional fall-out

Dear Mirroring Line Collective:

After successfully organizing the two read-a-thons, based on Badlands publications and held in The Holy Office, you now have two iterations of the same form to compare.

Please post the texts you have written that compare the emotional experience of each text made oral.  Recall: two paragraphs for each and/or lists of emotions induced by reader  and in listener, by text, by location.

 

My thanks, MWB

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6 Comments

  1. Katherine Habeck
    Posted October 20, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Notes on the Phaedrus Pron Read-A-Thon

    It was so difficult to repeat the word more. The more I said more the more it stopped sounding like language. My mouth could not shape the word more anymore.
    In the late night shift, we all started singing during our timeslots and it was like a one person choir and a quiet congregation. It felt really warm and comforting actually; the text was less provocative, and I concentrated more on carrying a melody, which kept returning to Amazing Grace for some reason. The sort of meaningless repetition made the text void and inaccessible. What I took away most was the experience of being in a space with a few other listeners and readers, comrades.

    Notes on On Democracy Read-A-Thon

    I walked in as the final pages were read and those moments were filled mostly with my own feelings of being impressed that the book was practically finished at 2:30 PM. The reader finished the book. We cleaned up the room. I threw away the coffee filter. We told Isabella it was over. I left for the day.

  2. Diana Antohe
    Posted October 20, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Phaedrus Pron Read-A-Thon:

    What I felt like during the Readings:
    uncomfortable
    reassured
    united
    distanced
    a bystander
    second-hand embarrassment

    I was fascinated by how readers would affect the text. Due to the nature of the book having several different cycles of text that it would return to, one would end up hearing similar sections read by different voices with different bodies. I was struck by how drastically different the text was transformed from disturbing to hilarious. Sometimes the text united the reader and the audience members, as I felt that we were bonded together with the funny nature of an uncomfortable environment. Other times, a reader’s choices made me want to put a lot of distance between the two of us.

    When I read, the words held no real meaning to me. Having heard hours of the text, I was drained and the particular section I had to read felt tame and mostly empty. They became mere words. Once I started singing the text as I was alone in the room, it became more of a joyful meditation. That trance was broken when people returned to the office during my time slot.

    I think the format of Phaedrus Pron was extremely interesting put in the context of a read-a-thon. I would have never read through that amount of text or put that much time into the content of that book if it had not been for a read-a-thon. Otherwise, one has the impulse of merely flipping through Phaedrus Pron to get the “gist of it”. In this way, that day was completely based around that particular text.

    On Democracy:
    quiet
    short
    relaxed
    surprised

    It was a completely different experience because I was barely there compared to the many hours of Phaedrus Pron.
    This was somewhat informative and comical as it divulged random silly things such as Hussein commissioning a 6-hour telenovella version of his life.
    It was short and I found myself really lost at the beginning, because coming into that part of the text without hearing all that came before it made it almost impossible to understand.

  3. Kayla Hudgins
    Posted October 21, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Phaedrus Pron

    When I first arrived, it was peaceful, listening to people chant and sing the book. It was meditative and I could weave in and out of the actual words being said to simply being still, against the wall. Then it became my turn. At first, I was able to read and listen to the words, but as time went on I felt the words losing meaning. I began to move my mouth without hearing what I was saying. The words kept repeating and repeating, and I began to feel frustrated. As time wore on, my mouth became dry, and it was a physical triumph each time I was able to form a word. I no longer thought about words, they were simply sounds. I started to hate Paul Chan. I felt a weird hysteria building up inside of me. I wanted to laugh, and I don’t know why. I had to concentrate on the words. By the time it was over, I felt nothing but a strange numbness, along with relief.

    On Democracy

    It was over before I could even get there, and I was little disappointed, but also a little happy, since Phaedrus Pron had imprinted me with a very specific memory.

  4. Posted October 25, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Pron-A-Thon :
    Before reading Phaedrus Pron by Paul Chan, I was unaware of the nature of the book,
    and was definitely surprised. Though on the class website it states that it is a “dialogue on art,
    erotic love, and madness as unyielding sexual prose…stretches the limits of intelligibility and
    sense”, it still wasn’t enough to fully understand what our class was in for. It was an intense
    reading and experience. Sitting in front of my classmates and friends, as well as people that I
    barely know and reading sexual prose was uncomfortable, at first; I tripped over my words,
    barely able to pronounce the unending pages of “moar moar moar” due to how many times was
    written. But after a while of reading repeated words and statements, it was an appreciation to
    realize that the words all lose their value when stated multiple times. In real life, phrases like
    “I’m sorry” don’t mean anything when repeated over and over, because they lose meaning. This
    realization made listening to my fellow readers much easier and less uncomfortable every time a
    phrase, or word was repeated. It was, overall, an enlightening experience.

    On Democracy:
    Paul Chan’s On Democracy is a book comprised of Saddam Hussein’s speeches “on
    democracy” before he became the president of Iraq, written in the 1970s. The speeches are
    familiar and contrary, with Hussein characterizing social democracy as demanding of authority
    and free will as a patriotic duty to uphold the good of the state. It was strange to read speeches
    written by Saddam Hussein, a terrorist who was put on trial for crimes against humanity and
    hung in an army base in Iraq. Reading his “ideas on democracy” and the promises he made to
    his people of freedom and security, only to be a repressive regime that turns on his people was
    eerie and uncomfortable. It was an uncomfortable feeling mostly because reading the chapter
    made me want to believe in his democracy, only to realize how different his politics actually
    were. It’s interesting to feel uncomfortable with both Read-A-Thons, but for entirely different
    reasons.

  5. Posted October 25, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Pron-A-Thon:
    Before reading Phaedrus Pron by Paul Chan, I was unaware of the nature of the book,
    and was definitely surprised. Though on the class website it states that it is a “dialogue on art,
    erotic love, and madness as unyielding sexual prose…stretches the limits of intelligibility and
    sense”, it still wasn’t enough to fully understand what our class was in for. It was an intense
    reading and experience. Sitting in front of my classmates and friends, as well as people that I
    barely know and reading sexual prose was uncomfortable, at first; I tripped over my words,
    barely able to pronounce the unending pages of “moar moar moar” due to how many times was
    written. But after a while of reading repeated words and statements, it was an appreciation to
    realize that the words all lose their value when stated multiple times. In real life, phrases like
    “I’m sorry” don’t mean anything when repeated over and over, because they lose meaning. This
    realization made listening to my fellow readers much easier and less uncomfortable every time a
    phrase, or word was repeated. It was, overall, an enlightening experience

    On Democracy:
    Paul Chan’s On Democracy is a book comprised of Saddam Hussein’s speeches “on
    democracy” before he became the president of Iraq, written in the 1970s. The speeches are
    familiar and contrary, with Hussein characterizing social democracy as demanding of authority
    and free will as a patriotic duty to uphold the good of the state. It was strange to read speeches
    written by Saddam Hussein, a terrorist who was put on trial for crimes against humanity and
    hung in an army base in Iraq. Reading his “ideas on democracy” and the promises he made to
    his people of freedom and security, only to be a repressive regime that turns on his people was
    eerie and uncomfortable. It was an uncomfortable feeling mostly because reading the chapter
    made me want to believe in his democracy, only to realize how different his politics actually
    were. It’s interesting to feel uncomfortable with both Read-A-Thons, but for entirely different
    reasons.

  6. Posted October 25, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Within the first moments of speaking these words, I felt a heaviness within the space from which all students had congregated to. This heaviness wax and waned through several properties: each individuals interpretation of the text and the text’s interpretation on our own bodies and minds. I cannot speak for anyone else’s inner emotions, but my own were shaken while I both listened and read aloud. While I listen, I tended to block out all worldly associations. In other words, there was no place other than The Holy Office. It was a meditation that provoked a beautiful in settlement in my psyche and my body. A weird nostalgia overcame my listening, and I became a victim within Phedrus Pron. At times I could not handle the intensity of the atmosphere, and I would have to step outside from time to time to regain all that I had been hearing.
    Reading is a different experience in many ways. I felt like if I was to read this to an audience, I must believe what I’m reading. Living with gifted theatre majors has granted me some knowledge by observing how they read text. To me, Phedrus Pron was more of many monologues, and to be engaged with the moment is everything. I remember at one point I was so tranced that I was no longer in control of my body nor my words. I was truly living in the moment o the text. It was startling how I caught myself after someone stopped me.
    I wouldn’t call this a book. I would call it art. An experience, rather than occurrence. One could call what I felt somewhat out of the body, a reaction to the action that is placed before me. I was deeply uncomfortable at how this book made me feel, but then again, isn’t that feeling such an important value of life to have?

    In respects to On Democracy, I was a little disappointed that we finished so early, and how little people showed up. Not even half of our group had the chance to read. That itself brought little life into The Holy Office. But I still can say that this book was fascinating, especially knowing these words come from such an infamous icon in the contemporary time we happened to be in. Saddam writes in a way that can hook an audience like a fish with the best bait. He surely knows what to say to get people’s attention. It reminds me of Adolf’s amazing writing. He did terrible things, but his writing is what brought him power. The manipulation through words are executed well with both texts.
    The experience of reading this allowed was bland, and lonely. I was the only one in the room while I was reading the entire time. It was only till the end of my shift when someone came to take my place. The only ones who got to read respectively were micheal, myself, Soraya, myself again, Diana’s company ( Rachel and
    Amanda). I don’t have much more to say, other than my opinion on the first read o thon was more capturing. Both gave good experiences with being together with one another. This togetherness I think is one of the most important attributes in doing these readings, an it showed the difference placing the two read o thons side by side.


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