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ERIC Number: ED426431
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Nov
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Performance Style vs. Textual Substance: Elocutionism Reincarnated in the Contemporary Practice of Oral Interpretation.
Kirch, Michael W.; Zeidler, Tom
Oral interpreters have traditionally been taught to begin their work with an in-depth examination of the text. Thus, classes in oral interpretation have emphasized the importance of literary analysis. Before a student can attempt a performance, the text must be analyzed in detail, as fully as possible, in an attempt to understand the nuances inherent in the literature. In a similar way, the elocutionists in the eighteenth century taught the value of knowing the internal and external traits of a passion before a speaker attempted to deliver a speech. Unfortunately, early twentieth century practitioners of elocution were more interested in the mechanics of speaking than in natural speech performance. They left elocution with the connotation that it still carries today, that of teaching stilted and unnatural delivery. In much the same manner, some claim that surface "style" has overtaken "substance" in the typical contest performance. Not surprisingly, coaches of oral interpretation competitors are often accused of teaching unnatural performance skills. This paper situates and examines the "style versus substance" debate by considering such topics as: (1) the rise and fall of the Elocutionary Movement; (2) notions of style and substance; (3) stock narrators; (4) the advantages and disadvantages of stylized conventions; and (5) the pedagogical strengths and weaknesses of implicitly/explicitly establishing style guidelines. Contains 24 references. (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A