Conversation after the exercise, an (edited) transcript:
The text tries to describe what the good orator does. The author refers to the reading of poems but the text itself is not a poem. Still, it has tone. There is a tone that has been strategically created by the writer and as a reader you can go with it or against it.
The phenomenological perspective seems to converge with the interest of the poet: to load a text with different forms of tone. Not in the sense of how it is to be spoken but how the writer is able to affect through meaning. Intonation seems somehow more technical. And tone relates to meaning.
That is where he says "tone is not just an acoustic effect." It has to do with meaning and felt experience. How the text is able to invoke.
But where and how does it happen then, the tone? And how is it signaled in the text?
Perec talks about the overuse of italics. I like that part because I do overuse italics myself. I use them as a way of saying here is where I want the emphasis. As a reader you immediately adapt your tone to the italics which is like an emphasis.
Some phenomenological texts provoke me. I don't know why. Maybe because they put so much emphasis on bringing out the "inner meaning". So what about focusing on the "outer meaning"? What if we put the tonal emphasis on the non-important? This is how I got interested in this exercise, to try to alleviate the text from its own pathos, to do that even within single sentences, a little like weightlifting. So you might go: "When we create text..." Or: "When we create text..."; Or: "When we create text..."
The prepositions are normally not to be emphasised. Yet prepositions make up relations, and depending on how and when you emphasise them can totally change the text.
It is a strong tool because you can completely divert the listener. You can really go against the text. It becomes gibberish.
You could even try to do that with one sentence until you exhaust all of its intonational possibilities, in a way…
Its intentional possibilities..
Can we do that? Let’s read in a way that we exhaust it!
In order to do weightlifting, I needed my hand to guide me. So I was trying to go up and down, up and down, up and down, which is really against the way to read, it disturbs the clusters.