I am the daughter of the North West + my dad's voice is dead strong. I am reading Richard Hoggart's, The Uses of Literacy. I can't say much about it just yet. Maria introduced me to Orality and Literacy by Walter J Ong last month. Although I got carried away and ended up nearly hating the practice of writing and all it stood for (not helped by Fizcaraldo + Aguirre, Wrath of God which recently watched) I realised after a while that I was less interested in getting on my high horse about writing being a conquering act than I was about how knowledge is transferred through language.
Though I'm learning this new language of abstracts, I prefer to use my own and there can be a problem in translation - for both me understanding new words and for me explaining their meanings to others. My dad doesn't have a word for problematisation and it annoys me that I do now. One thing I have understood is that one example goes a long way. Here it has materiality, at home it makes sense. Examples are like when you're in a pub with new people and someone asks if you're having a drink. Not if you want a drink; if you're having a drink. It's altogether different.
I'm not sure what I want from Portnoy. I'm using just his last name because the time is so short. Knowing people is important, it's not transitory; it lasts (I watched an Italian film that I can't remember the title of and the main feller gets lowered into a vat of concrete by the mafia after a performing a sort of selfless act, and he comforted himself with the knowledge that somewhere in the north there was a man who thought of him as his best friend - they'd not been in contact for over 30 years. Hit the nail on the head for me that did.) Questions like, What's your dad do again? What did you have for your tea last night? speak to me. They get you backstage and it's always better back stage because you're sort of free. There's no security guards monitoring your binary status.
I'm writing + recording poems at the minute.
I expect you'll read what everyone's sent you, Portnoy,
and you'll think of common themes
and you'll relate them to your lived life,
in all it's knowledge sources,
and then you'll want to voice the things -
things you've thought about.
That's all you can hope for really isn't it?
- the rest'll be down to me.*
* 'This is not simply a power of passive resistance, but something which, though not articulate, is positive. The working-classes have a strong natural ability to survive change by adapting or assimilating what they want in the new and ignoring the rest.'
- The Uses of Literacy, Richard Hoggart, pp.20+21