5 | 2020
Unmoored Languages

This volume explores the complex relations developing between a literary text and the world beyond the representational function. Not content to capture, narrate or describe the existing world, writers keep creating autonomous worlds and inventing new languages to account for yet unmapped territories and experiences. As the materiality of language and its poetic quality come out, the sounds, rhythms and visual effects of the text become living milieu rather than material or simple instruments subordinated to thought. Though the effect first produced upon the reader may well be of strangeness or obscurity, such unmooring of language warrants a valuable extension of language likely to bring back to the reader buried, unsuspected emotions and aesthetic experiences, should she be willing to adopt an open type of reading, more fluid than the automatic system of conventional associations on which reading largely relies.

In this collection, writers and literary scholars from the U.S. and France focused on the nature of the mutations to which unmoored language is submitted, as well as on the various ways in which the text makes sense in spite of all. How to describe that which exceeds language rather than avoid the confrontation by relegating it into the vague category of the ineffable? Throughout, literary, linguistic or philosophical analyses have as their horizon the vision of language reflected by the unmoored text, as well as of the relations between language and the world.

5 | 2020

Jazz Mislaid Jazz: Rhythm has No Boundaries

Judith Roof


This paper brings together jazz music, Stein’s work and Beckett’s, as relying all on unmooring practices, to poetically enhance the musical and more largely sensorial qualities that allow language to touch and move. Through this performative text, the reader is offered to experience the instability in language that conveys both vital energy and the precariousness of our mortal condition.

Texte intégral

1The generational energy of jazz is metonymy, a contagion that conveys style across borders, through membranes of discourse, and social terrains. Jazz infects and infests, producing in each locus something like and yet not quite like itself, whatever that is, its generational mode being such that as it moves it mutates and enlarges. Whatever jazz was at the start (if ever there ever was one and if it ever was that) never again exists as such even at the point we imagine jazz began except as the nostalgia for an imaginary pure, insistently authentic, tantalizingly anthropological, and distinctly unjazzlike ab original time. Jazz generates and is generated by improvisation–a moving across and through instead of along a fictive oedipal line. Jazz is relational rather than historical. Jazz musicians call it “natural” as opposed to programmatic, full of “feeling” that inclines asymptotically along the sum of tradition. Jazz depends less on precursivity than on resonance as its spark of perpetual invention. Jazz dies around models of deliberation and reading. Plan and ownership kill it. The moment jazz becomes a history is the moment jazz ceases to be jazz to become something else, an epitaph, perhaps, of a respectable struggle against oppression or the mystical root of a mode of perpetual invention, or one means by which a commodity masquerades as individuality. The history of jazz is jazz’s funeral and jazz wasn’t born at a funeral. It came out of the cemetery gate the moment after1.

2Impelled by feel, style, improvisation, and joy, jazz exists beside and often in contradistinction to the temporal schema of generational demarcations, lineal purity, and proper attribution. We cannot capture jazz except through jazz. Even so and maybe because of this, we try to capture it anyway, describing jazz, say, in geographical terms, as if locating it in a place will find its time, coordinates that will define jazz once and for all. But that geography is itself already relative. If jazz is turn of the 20th century, ragtime, Scott Joplin, and the Caribbean, it is also WWI and Chicago, Africa, the depression and New York and Paris and Be-bop, and that’s just jazz during the first half of the 20th century. As clarinetist Pee Wee Russell emphasizes, “What I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t matter what city you hear it in. I get so disgusted with the idea that you have to be from one particular part of the country to play good jazz”2. Because jazz is so unlocatable, we love to give jazz an origin despite itself. This origin gives jazz authenticity; this authenticity and arguments about its basis in suffering remain, licensing the imaginary environ that obscures jazz’s beauteous rebellion against autochthony.

3There’s not only the “where” in such efforts at jazz etiology, but also the who: Billy Bolden, King Oliver, and according to Jelly Roll Morton, Jelly Roll Morton. No jazz musician will give the same account as any other. Cornetist Louis Metcalf comments, “You just gotta respect men like Jelly, King Oliver, Henderson and those other pioneers. They were proving something and had a rough time. Jazz was known then as ‘jig’ music, and those men had to fight all the way. There were a few white musicians too–men like Bix Beiderbecke and Benny Goodman, the Dorsey boys and Jack Teagarden. They didn’t care nothin’ about color, or that jazz had a bad stamp to it. Why, Bix would come uptown and blow with us, eat with us, sleep with us. He was one of us3. Mutt Carey, trumpeter, gives “…Freddie Keppard and Joe Oliver credit, too. They were great boys but there’s no one who came close to Louis. No, Louis was ahead by a mile! Louis makes you feel the number and that’s what counts”4. But even this nod to greatness is beside the point. “I honestly couldn’t characterize my style in words”, Coleman Hawkins, tenor sax, declares, “It seems that whatever comes to me naturally is what I play. That’s the way it’s always been. It’s influenced by a lot of things I hear unconsciously and I find myself playing a lot of things I have developed out of something. But I never made any particular study of how and why I play as I do–it just comes out naturally”5. Jimmy McPartland, cornetist, recalls, “We didn’t believe in copying anything outside of the arrangement. […] never a solo. For instance if Bix would take a solo, I wouldn’t copy that. I would just play the way I felt”6. And finally, Louis Armstrong, describing a jazzman’s night:

When Bix would finish up at the Chicago Theatre at night, he would haul it out to the Sunset where I was playing and stay right there with us until the last show was over and the customers would go home.
Then we would lock the doors. Now you talking about jam sessions huh these were the things with everyone feeling each other’s note or chord, et cetera and blend with each other instead of trying to cut each other nay, nay, we did not even think of such a mess we tried to see how good we could make music sound which was an inspiration within itself7.

4Hawkins describes jazz with the adverb “naturally”, where “the natural” is spontaneous feeling in the moment, ephemeral, timeless, without history, precursor, model or attribution. “An inspiration”, Armstrong declares, “within itself”. “Jig” music played by blacks and non-blacks alike, all together in a time of American segregation. “Naturally” no boundaries, only the feel of a music that thrives on itself, that thrives on feeling in the moment. Defying racial delineations, though race is often seen as that which differentiates between jazz original and jazz copy, is one way jazz broke boundaries even as it began. One remarkable characteristic of jazz is its ability to spread a different economy of feeling quickly.

Jazz Histeria

5The model of jazz as self-generative, expansive, and “natural” implies as well that jazz is both perpetually present and timeless, but at the same time an aesthetic that plays with timing. Jazz syncopates; it is off time on time, complicating time, redistributing emphasis and regularities, making time evaporate. Although contemporary accounts and jazz pedagogy map lineages and influences, earlier jazz’s denials of certain lineage depict musicians finding the music with “feeling”. If in complicating rhythms, jazz writes over history, then jazz temporality is always just there–a present that is perennial, generative, and infective. As a mode of group pleasure approaching the sexual, jazz is the ineffable, derived from the “natural” expressions of each musician multiplied by the group. Jazz has no iteration; we can never revisit, replay, re-experience. This is what Jack Kerouac describes in On The Road in a scene in Chicago after pianist George Shearing has played:

… the boys said,”There ain’t nothing left after that.”
But the slender leader frowned. “Let’s blow anyway.”
Something would come of it yet. There’s always more, a little further–it never ends. They sought to find new phrases after Shearing’s explorations; they tried hard. They writhed and twisted and blew. Every now and then a clear harmonic cry gave new suggestions of a tune that would someday be the only tune in the world and would raise men’s souls to joy. They found it, they lost, they wrestled for it, they found it again, they laughed, they moaned8.

6Or even in Julio Cortázar’s previously unpublished story fragment, “Bix Beiderbecke”, the female narrator describes Bix’s orgasmic effect:

I went off to his filthy room carrying one of Bix’s albums and I made him put it on while he undressed me, and it was probably a coincidence but right when I started screaming with pain Bix came in with his solo on ‘Royal Garden Blues’ and I kept on screaming but now the pain was turning upside down, it was filling up like with gold, I belonged to Bix at last, that’s how it had to be9

7So the feel and the natural and the now, always now and always changing and always jazz.

8For some, this description might seem transgressive, as if it is taking something away, denying a history, denying the due of an authentic contribution we always understand as racial. But that is the beauty of jazz. It may well be all of these things, but it never stays there. Jazz as the natural feel that transcends, transgresses, crosses, opens up, is not the same as histories of jazz, jazz as a demarcation, a territory, or a generational style. While jazz deterritorializes, histories of jazz parse, ossify, close up and down. Is this, then, a comment on the nature of history as a practice that in relation to jazz, at least, can never approach the phenomenon it attempts to curate? Or would this be true of any generational history of art after jazz–of attempts to locate such other improvisational practices as avant-gardisms or spontaneous art? Is deploying the term “jazz” as a moniker for an “age” a counter-jazz gesture? Is there anything particularly jazzy about the Fitzgeraldian 20s? His short stories are less jazzy than the jazz titles of their collections would suggest10. The closest modernist prose fiction comes to the feel of jazz is some of Gertrude Stein’s portraits and stories, which are rarely read as jazzy. And after World War II, Samuel Beckett’s monologue plays sound as jazzy as jazz, if we let the sound of the language take its own way. The phenomenon of jazz raises the question of the possibility of any history of twentieth-century performance that does not, in its attempts to temporalize, oedipalize, and contextualize, run the risk of losing the “feel” such histories attempt to organize.

9But then again history might be something else altogether, something that in its organizational assumptions can never be either jazzy or avant-garde. Histories import a different protocol into the mix, something like an imaginary liquid nitrogen that attempts to fix phenomena as if such stillness can present a set of relations at one point in time. In his chapter titled “Rethinking Jazz History”, for example, jazz historian Alyn Shipton begins by describing jazz as something that spread “like wildfire”, touching “the hearts and minds of people across the entire spectrum of social and racial backgrounds. Its message was universal”11. On the same page and one paragraph later, Shipton also asserts, “Because the music had African-American origins, the question of race also was bound up in it from the start, and to a white public it symbolized something ‘other’, something daring and exotic, while simultaneously, to a black public it was a unifying force, an aspiration…”12 A few pages later, still in his introduction, Shipton, noting the way musical historians have tied 1940s jazz to “political and racial revolution”, also points out that many 40s jazz innovators were white13. The concluding definition he offers for jazz, however, returns to the other side of this binary: “A starting point” Shipton concludes, “the definition offered by the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz is a workable one: ‘A music created mainly by black Americans in the early 20th century through an amalgamation of elements drawn from European-American and tribal African musics’”14.

10Shipton’s earnest attempts to describe jazz as simultaneously two phenomena enact the difficulty of merging any conception of jazz as a feel and art with any practice of jazz or even of jazz as the amalgamation of a cultural history. Jazz is one thing, its history is another. But which jazz is our familiar? Shipton’s juxtaposition of the two produces this odd tension or contradiction: jazz spread to everyone “like wildfire” and its “message” was “universal;” jazz conveys racial authenticity. In histories, origins trump feel, slide back into the imaginary authenticity of racialized experience.

11But do the orthopedics of history expose the differences in temporal sense between modernist artistic practices and the fictions of cause/effect oedipalization by which histories recapture atemporal phenomena as a series of generational movements? History, of course, is always about the present and always retrospective, organizing phenomena in ways that no one could have seen at the time. We might attribute that contemporaneous blindness to an inability to see the field. Or attempts to recount history import narrative protocols which include generational metrics. These inject patriarchal metaphors of debt and influence (themselves disguised by the artificial divisions of decades) into the mix. In Visions of Jazz, author Gary Giddings begins with this decadal/generational dilemma: “A panel of jazz experts representing its various eras and movements might conceivably be reduced to a pandemonium of … proclamations: ‘The ‘50s!’ ‘The ‘40s!’ ‘The ‘60s!’ ‘The ‘30s!’ ‘The ‘90s!’ Well, not the ‘90s. Or they might thunder favorite genres: ‘Swing!’ ‘Dixieland!’ ‘Free jazz!’ ‘Modern!’ ‘Fusion!’ No, not fusion”15. Giddings summarizes: “For most of this century, the jazz audience has been anatomized into frequently warring satellites. One could interpret jazz schismatics as a tribute to the music’s diversity and the speed with which it evolved from neighborhood socials to worldwide sovereignty”16. Taste defines history, generations meet genres, these latter two terms deriving from the same root meaning to generate, to produce, most often (as its infections suggest) within a biological analogy. Jazz exists at the intersection of these concepts, or at least the retrospective version of jazz does, which accounts for the odd ambivalence of historical accounts. Later in his introduction, Giddings notes that “the most pleasurable experiences in jazz include countless fugitive passages, some not much longer than a few seconds–an inspired eight-bar variation in an otherwise leaden recording, a sensational voicing for the brasses in an otherwise routine arrangement. Everyone venerates and assimilates the masters”17. Transience, feel, originless genius meets the “masters”.

Taste, Timing, and the Impotent Vibrato of the Wurlitzer Organ

12One of jazz’s most dubious critics is Theodor Adorno, who recycles the tension between history and the individual in his analysis of jazz as the “false” “amalgam of the march and salon music: the amalgam of a destroyed subjectivity and of the social power which produces it, and objectifies it through this elimination”18. Figuring jazz essence as mere “vibrato”, Adorno sees the “jazz subject” as “inept and . . . inclined toward improvisation; it is contrasted as Self against the abstract superimposed authority and yet can be exchanged arbitrarily”19. Comparing jazz to “the singing of servant girls”, characterizing as feeling itself a “mutilated subject”, and synecdochizing it as “syncopation” and the “saxophone”, Adorno sees neither “triumphant vitality”, nor collective endeavor in jazz20. Jazz’s individual inventiveness is no resistance or real invention according to Adorno; instead it is mere eccentricity–a commodified “obscene gesture”, recontained by its own status as commodity21. As neither authentic nor collective, jazz is an amateurish laggard comprised of “helplessness (the whimpering vibrato) and the average consciousness (banality)”22. “The modern archaic stance of jazz”, Adorno declares, “is nothing other than its commodity character”23. “With jazz”, Adorno remarks, “a disenfranchised subjectivity plunges from the commodity world into the commodity world; the system does not allow for a way out”24. Instead, for Adorno jazz is finally a matter of taste, or the lack thereof–a commodity trap by which modernist subjects take up their own deluded commodifications in the name of natural feeling.

13With the evocation of taste, Adorno reveals the set of assumptions by which he damns jazz to perpetual banality. The “taste” that extols jazz, according to Adorno, is the taste of modernity itself. In so far as jazz produces its own commodification, so extolling jazz is merely an effect of modernity loving itself. “The ‘tastefulness’ of jazz, the ferment of its modernity, antipole and corrective of the amateur”, Adorno suggests, “are artistically simple deception as much as its reverse, its immediacy. Educated taste, which tests and refines the conventional, has long since become conventional itself; modernity is based exclusively on the conventions of the music of the recent modern period”25.

14In his jazz commentary Adorno links taste and temporality, seeing modernity’s taste as the effect of modernity and modernity as an effect of taste. This moebius is an inescapable conundrum. Translated, as Adorno suggests, into issues of commodification and the delusion of subjective enfranchisement, the taste of modernity enables no site either for individuality or for real musical creativity. Jazz, then, is an illusion designed to delude about the very qualities for which it seems to stand. Taste is history for Adorno, and the castrated Wurlitzer organ of jazz is banal background music26.

15If taste is history and jazz a matter of bad taste, then in what ways does Adorno, too, defeat the borderless feel of jazz through the imposition of historical conceptualizations? Continuing the ambivalence about origins of some jazz historians, Adorno also suggests that archaic and racial origins are a part of the jazz commodity, suggesting as well that any jazz history is itself the commodity jazz offers. But what about the operations of spontaneity, improvisation, and simultaneity–those qualities that could conceivably evade historicization unless these are also mere delusions of such? Adorno argues that these elements, too, simply disguise the banal, particularly in so far as jazz becomes a reproduced commodity. In fact, much of Adorno’s discussion of jazz depends upon a conception of jazz as already reproduced–as already the joint product of popularization and recording technologies. Adorno’s jazz is a jazz already removed–the jazz which both is and is not jazz. This returns to the problem finally of that art which can never be where it is because the very conception of being itself can never be. Jazz, then, is that ephemeral thing, which can only ever be dislocated and always just is. Jazz has no origin; it cannot be reproduced, and we cannot characterize its being without turning it into something it is not. And yet, even in saying this, I have reproduced jazz as that originary authenticity that defies history and commodity, which is, of course, my point.

Stein’s Got Rhythm

16Jazz permeation does not limit itself to music. As jazz spreads, it pushes past generic, national, racial, and medial boundaries to inflect other modes of art —of expression, invading realms beyond the nightclub, the cabaret, the radio, and the gramophone. Its rhythms exceed itself, its chord progressions shift, generate and spread jazz as it merges with mainstream popular music such as that of George and Ira Gershwin or Cole Porter. The rhythm changes typical of jazz characterize the hoppy bounce of the Gershwins’ “I Got Rhythm”, as well as the melodic and lyrical syncopations of Cole Porter’s immense library, including “You’re the Top” (among a plethora of 20s, 30s, and 40s popular music)27. And while literary history recalls Fitzgerald as a “jazz age” writer, Gertrude Stein, perhaps the last writer we might expect to be jazzy, was jazzy nonetheless, much jazzier than Fitzgerald, enacting a jazzy quality in her writing that evaded contemporaneous commentators. Listening to Stein reading her own prose makes the its jazzy quality unmistakable28.

17In “A Stein Song”, his 1945 introduction to The Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, Carl Van Vechten commences his gleeful exposition of Gertrude Stein’s writing in a most symptomatic, non-lyrical way29. In one segment of his very unsonglike “song”, Van Vechten compares Stein’s creativity to that of Picasso and Schoenberg:

If Picasso is applauded for painting pictures which do not represent anything seen, if Schoenberg can pen a score that sounds entirely new even to ears accustomed to listen to modern music, why should an employer of English words be required to form sentences which are familiar in meaning, shape, and sound to any casual reader?30

18From this synaesthetic comparison, Van Vechten lays out Stein’s development as a word artist. Working through the fascinations of repetition, “she began”, according to Van Vechten, “to find new names for things, names which were not nouns, if possible, and, renaming things, became so enchanted sometimes with her own talent and the music of the words as they dropped that she became enamored of the magic of the mere sounds, but quickly she sensed this was an impasse…”31 A paragraph later, Van Vechten warns: “But do not get the idea that her essential appeal is to the ear or the subconscious. ‘It is her eyes and mind that are important and concerned in choosing’”32.

19Relegating sound to a mere by-way, Van Vechten indulges in the modernist predilection for image, privileging the visual over the aural. And perhaps Stein did as well. But we should not pass so quickly over one crucial effect of all of Stein’s nouns, pronouns, conjunctions, and participial phrases: the jazz rhythms of her prose that make an aesthetic out of her mania for clarity, exactitude, and “actualities”. Sound, which is often overlooked, is also what distinguishes the sum of Stein’s verbal creativity. Although some attempts to produce the linguistic equivalent of cubism and her own theories of composition may describe Stein’s method, they don’t account for its effect, which owes at least part of its feeling of innovation to the “feel” of jazz, links individual perception and improvisation to American tradition through jazz, and reflects, throughout the course of her career, both ragtime and jazz aesthetics. Why is sound —and specifically jazz rhythms— de-emphasized in renditions of Stein’s work, like that of Van Vechten, or the analyses of most literary critics, or even in musicals such as the 2006 Loving Repeating that render Stein’s life and writing?33 Just as Van Vechten always imagines that something supersedes the sound of Stein’s writing, so analyses and renditions of Stein pass by her jazz “feel” to focus on her life and idiosyncrasy. In so doing, renditions, both creative and critical, that try to stay “true” to Stein cleanse Stein’s work of emotion —of feel— in favor of something more biographical, clinical, soap operatic, or redundantly idiosyncratic (if such an oxymoron is possible).

20Much of Stein’s writing is jazzy in its repetitions and sentence structure. This jazziness evinces an emotional quality the writing’s otherwise artful experiments seem to omit. Although literary critics note Stein’s use of the present participle, the ways her layering of present tense events approximate cubism, her strategic deployment of common words, and the poetic exactitude of her use of repetition, they usually ignore the rhythms of the writing itself34. The prose rhythms make the other strategies come together as more than mere strategies, intellectual experiments, or idiosyncratic avant-gardism. The jazz sound of Stein’s writing reveals a bluesy soul within the arch cleverness of the prose. In the end, this suggests that the feel of her writing derives less from what it denotes or connotes than from the way it sounds. Rhythms and meanings recombine to produce more than the sum of its parts.

21Although Stein’s own performance of the “Portrait of Matisse” suggests the syncopated backbeat typical of jazz phrasing, the writing on the page may lend itself to an even jazzier rendition, and the clue to this is the way her repetitions actually produce syncopation35.

One was quite certain that for a long part of his being one being living he had been trying to be certain that he was wrong in doing what he was doing and then when he could not come to be certain that he had been wrong in doing what he had been doing, when he had completely convinced himself that he would not come to be certain that he had been wrong in doing what he had been doing he was really certain then that he was a great one and he certainly was a great one. Certainly every one could be certain of this thing that this one is a great one36.

22Stein’s performance of “Matisse” emphasizes the circularity of the prose. But notice the first combination of “his being one being living” syncopates around the repetition of the word “being” and again around the repetition of the syllable “-ing”. The word “one” between the two “beings” delays the second “being” from the regular emphasis of a 1-3 beat to an emphasis on the backbeat. The third “-ing” in “living” reasserts the regular 1-3 beat, which then continues in the next line. A similar syncopation occurs in the phrase “he was wrong in doing what he had been doing” in the repetition of “doing”–and in “doing”’s repetition at the end of that phrase. These syncopations recurring around repetitions approximate that jazz precursor, ragtime.

23The syncopation enacted by Stein’s repetitions in “Matisse” accompanies the passage’s swing, or feeling of driving forward. This swing feel is produced by the insertion of too many syllables within certain beats that structure the return of repetitions. The phrase “that for a long part” drives towards “part” as the emphasized word on the beat. The same is the case with the phrase —“he had been trying” with the emphases on the second and fourth beats— on “had” and“try”. These multi-syllabic drivers seem to drive towards the syncopations that trip up the rhythm, only to push towards a return to the incipient emphasis on beats one and three. This stresses certain repeated words, both through syncopation and swing. The present participles, repeated as they are, tend to be sites of syncopation, while the words “certain”, “part”, “one”, “what”, “come”, “wrong”, and “great”, gain emphasis either by re-establishing a 1-3, or “straight” blues beat or through their position at the end point of a multi-syllabic push that shifts the emphasis to the second and fourth syllables. That these shifts in rhythm emphasize particular words produces the portrait itself as a set of motifs that add up to a singular greatness that parallels the qualities of Matisse’s own work.

24Stein’s verbal rhythms in “Matisse” are remarkably similar to those in Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag” (1899). The proto-jazz of her rhythms and repetitions pushes towards surprise and away from the typical iambic rhythms of spoken English. Her “Portrait of Matisse” was written in 1912, linking these writings to the contemporaneous ragtime. The “Matissepassage’s push beyond a regular 1-3 “flat” beat is analogous to ragtime’s similar push beyond the march rhythm. I am not suggesting that there is an overt influence or that Stein was trying to emulate ragtime. Instead, there may be a conceptual link —and a shared “feel”— between the impetus of ragtime and the artistic innovations of cubism and other avant-gardes, especially in so far as cubism constitutes a visual capture of space extended through time that results in a kind of imagistic stuttering and repetition, while ragtime is an audial experiment in extending rhythm through timing that results in syncopation as a kind of stuttering and repetition. Both produce a feeling of extension, of something beyond the moment captured in the moment, as does Stein’s verbal portrait of Matisse. Although we might easily chalk this sense of extended moment up simply to her use of present participles, it is also —and perhaps more emphatically— produced by Stein’s syncopations, drive, and extended ragtime-like rhythms. It is a product of the whole beyond the parts. It pushes and surprises.

25Some of Stein’s later writing is simpler and even more akin to the jazz that came to characterize popular music in the 1920s and 1930s. For example, Hoagy Carmichael’s retro 1935 basic blues jazz rhythm change tune, “Bread and Gravy” offers a simple blues rhythm performance37. Below this same blues rhythm begins Stein’s 1926 “As a Wife Has a Cow”38:

Bread and gravy, lots of bread and gravy
Beans and bacon, lots of beans and bacon
No more frettin’, since I’m gettin
Lots of bread and gravy all the time.

Nearly all of it to be as a wife has a cow, a love story.
All of it to be as a wife has a cow,
all of it to be as a wife has a cow, a love story.

26In these two passages, the lines’ change rhythms emerge with the constant addition of syllables to each beat, while the number of beats itself seems to increase. Carmichael’s “Bread and Gravy” provides the underlying blues rhythm pattern to this. In “Bread and Gravy” the first lines divide emphasis between a syncopated first half which stresses the backbeat, and a second half that lands its first syllables squarely on the 1-2 and then “gravy” back on a syncopation that emphasizes the fourth beat. The final phrase lands back on the 1-3 beat. Carmichael’s lyrics also repeat the verse’s five main words, “bread and gravy” and “lots” three times, and “Beans and bacon” twice.

27Stein’s first sentence lands the first phrase on the beat, while the second truncated phrase pushes towards an emphasis on beats 2-4 in so far as the line begins with the non-stressed syllable “a”. The second two phrases omit the “Nearly” that began the first line and hence, push, like the second halves of Carmichael’s lines, towards syncopation. Stein’s final line returns to an emphasis on beats 1-3, as Carmichael’s does. Stein, too, repeats five main words (or phrases), “wife”, “cow”, and “all of it to be” three times, and “love story” twice, exactly the same as Carmichael’s lyric pattern. These repetitions offer blues rhythm’s as both the source of variation and as a reassurance of a concluding return. Both begin with a phrase, elaborate simply, and return to rest on the second version of phrase. In this way the entire stanza, verse, or sentence reproduces as a whole what the first chunk does in small, offering a phrase with an emphasis on the beat, then a syncopated repetition, producing a scalar, structural iteration that, like cubism, adumbrates a motif as a variation.

28Stein’s story continues in the next sentence in a similar, but slightly more complex manner: “As to be all of it as to be a wife as a wife has a cow, a love story, all of it as to be all of it as to be as a wife has a cow a love story, all of it as a wife has a cow as a wife has a cow a love story.”39 Stein’s more complex second sentence combines the rhythm expansions of ragtime with the swing syncopations of jazz that anticipate the syncopated complexities of 30’s popular jazz music such as George and Ira’s Gershwin’s 1937 “Nice Work If You Can Get It.”40 Stein’s elaborations and shifts in repeated words in “As a Wife Has a Cow” anticipate 30s Gershwin lyrics in complicating the blues pattern of the first sentence into the syncopated repetitions and variations of later, swingier, popular jazz tunes.

29Stein’s writing is musical, already jazzy. To read one must hear and to hear is to feel. Is there a way these lyric compositions somehow set her jazz off or do they sacrifice the feel of her writing for something else–the same way that her jazz rhythms have been persistently ignored in favor of quirky innovation all along? Only Rob Wallace in the very recent book Improvisation and the Making of American Literary Modernism seems to have noticed any aspect of Stein’s jazzy practice41. Why can’t Gertrude be jazz? Is it because by all appearances, she is one of the least jazzy-looking, jazzy-type artists we know?

Beckett’s Jazz

30But generally literary critics are unaccustomed to synaesthetic criticism. Many post-jazz writers may inflect/be infected by jazz, but the limitations of a jazz history discourage even sensing such an aesthetic. Another example of this is the jazzy lyricism possible in the performances of some of Samuel Beckett’s plays —from Endgame to Not I, Rockaby, and Words and Music42. Somewhere in a shelter where “something is taking its course”, Hamm and Clov of Beckett's Endgame still trade riffs, jazz riffs, sound beyond sound beyond just catching up with that feeling that came before that stays after that haunts its own drifting. Resound not in habit nor platitude, but in rhythms dropping, plotting, rhythms backing words into sense beyond themselves, beyond sound into incantation, beating hearts of being forgotten. Changes, shuffles, repeat, refine, come back then again something else, something else, feeling beating meaning beating those syllables of something like expression, known/unknown echoes of the sound rhythm called recalled. “Nature has forgotten us” “There’s no more nature”. “No more nature! You exaggerate”. “In the vicinity”. “But we breathe, we change! We lose our hair, our teeth! Our bloom! Our ideals!” “Then she hasn’t forgotten us”. “But you say there is none” “No one that ever lived ever thought so crooked as we”. “We do what we can” “We shouldn’t”43.

31Dialogue, words one to the other, words not set to music have music anyway. These words should be scented Irish, and so revoweled their instance is re-souled. As Beckett’s plays’ word rhythms jazz rhythms of jazz, it perpetuates the ways those rhythms inhere in language and thought—French, too, and Irish English and even American, uneven as it is, and in the way those beyond things use words beyond use and lace rhythms and not the other way round, a langue inside outside langue fronting the traveling bass line for a sound soaring towards the unnameable.

32“Out, into this world this world, tiny little thing, before its time, in a godfor—what? girl? Yes tiny little girl into this out into this before her time godforsaken hole called called no matter”44. Jazz, too, out into this world, before its time and after, has many meanings, meanings that inhere in Beckett’s jazz meeting. Jazzy maybe, with jazz jazz giz when we can never go back. Jazz means foolish talk, jazz means like things, like here Beckett’s words jazzy jazz. And syncopation, too, displacement to the weak beat, Beckett’s words displaced, displacing to the weak beat the beat of some other heart soul. Where are they? We never know, “in some godforsaken hole called called no matter. Parents unknown, unheard of… but still found herself in the dark and if not exactly insentient insentient for she could still hear the buzzing so called in the ears”, the buzzing second line alongside the line, duck in and out no echo no reverb but another, another like herself. That buzzing jazz jazz on jazz a little like one other living thing45.

33We think sometimes, assume, that language music comes from a voice properly prepared, performing soul it juices from a rind, the text so dry, dessicated to hieroglyph memorials that only a voice and not any voice can vivify those flakes into moist regeneration that new life not any life voiced beyond those susurate symbols into shells of sound. The voice, whisper sometimes sonorous a scream sometimes and where the voice “another like herself a little like going to and fro for another another like herself a little like”46. The voice is is not sound merely nor echo reprision of something somewhere but here now and never any one place even presence but also and at the same time gone echoed already the past resoaring reminding presence of a presence we sense struggle for in vibration the signifier we think of someone, the someone whose pain love existence soul cremates in that voice always fading into a presence it once is. “And now this stream not catching the half of it not the quarter no idea what she was saying imagine! no idea what she was saying till she began trying to delude herself it was not hers at all not her voice at all and no doubt would have vital she should was on the point after long effort when suddenly she felt gradually she felt her lips moving imagine! her lips moving as of course till then she had not and not alone the lips the cheeks the jaws the whole face all those what? the tongue? yes the tongue in the mouth all those contortions without which no speech possible and yet in the ordinary way not felt at all so intent one is on what one is saying the whole being hanging on its words”47.

34A voice some ring of flesh pressing air into vibration, the outgo from the income and yet though no one knows with within some diction direction discretion moving from intro to complication, from theme to variations, jazzing echoes piling dissonant harmonies “close of a long day […] for another another like herself a little like…”48

35This voice we sense we hope evinces something a someone perhaps “another like herself, … all eyes all sides, another a little like”49. The voice stands in we think at the same time in time voice soul perceived aggrieved only in echoes choral second there and not maybe the first again or another a little like…

36But soul then where is soul and more how and more how do those sibilants those plosive fricative sonants flow upriver defy the weight gravid pressing into swooping from behind or somewhere with rhythm beyond rhythm? How does voice become soul past words past rhythm lone voice alone? Jazz knows sometimes the soaring stops tamps the echo to a single… beat… heart…

37Two plays, Not I and Rockaby, two voices, female, Beckettian Ellas. Not I 1972. A voice, darkened stage lips suspended ten feet above, light on mouth only. Key. Listener foreground, like conductor, but not. Like adulator but not. No speech. Reminder. Thirteen minutes non-stop. No pause. No breath. No emotive emoting. No sense emphasis, just words making some sense beyond sense in themselves. A rushing sort of, a sort of vast unloading accidental, rhythmic maybe, but suddenly all jazz in the vowels. “All that steady stream straining to hear make something of it and her own thoughts make something of them all—what? the buzzing? yes all the time the buzzing so called all that together imagine whole body like gone just the mouth lips cheeks jaws never what? tongue? yes lips cheeks jaws tongue never still a second mouth on fire stream of words in her ear practically in her ear not catching the half not the quarter no idea what she’s saying imagine! no idea what she’s saying and can’t stop no stopping it she who but a moment before but a moment! could not make a sound no sound of any kind now can’t stop imagine can’t stop the stream and the whole brain begging something begging in the brain begging the mouth to stop pause a moment…”50

38Notice word change rhythm word. “Can’t stop no stopping it. Stream of words in her ear practically in her ear. No idea what she’s saying imagine no idea”. I could go on, to go on. “I can’t go on, I’ll go on”, nice Beckett riff51. Change rhythms yes, just like those Gershwins. She’s got rhythm, she’s got music, she’s got good times, who could ask for anything more? In a theatre, a mouth resounds and can’t stop no stopping it. Ever. It simply fades with the light as it mounted already voicing with the light. And Not I, but then whom else?

39Sound assaults. The voice beyond persona makes follows a rise a fall, plucking, gathering without seeming recall the pattern more than the words, the feel more than meaning, referents long gone long ago only music remains and not even music but a call for response. Whose response? Only audience ahhs, behind always. No idea what she is saying, no idea.

40Then there is Rockaby, “Rock-a-bye your baby with a Dixie Melody”52. Show tune 1918 already hybrid jazz already upstream. A little jazz more about jazz than jazzy. Rockaby 1980. Dark stage. Chair. Rocking. Being rocked. Spotlight. Lone woman “all eyes all sides high and low for another another like herself a little like”. Voice from elsewhere coming in “all sides high and low”. Jazz voice sound beat off beat carries the singer, means from inside an outside, surrounds “all eyes all sides high and low for another another like herself another creature like herself a little like” phrase elaborate beat tilt jilt a rhythm on from no where “a little like going to and fro all eyes all sides high and low for another till in the end close of a long day to herself whom else time she stopped time she stopped” chorus now doubled three beat emphatic now back “going to and fro all eyes all sides high and low for another another living soul” change rhythm “going to and fro all eyes like herself” radial jazz radius spreading.

41But why this jazz? No one would think it even look for it or pause wincing listen for it in the words or voices declaiming singing really singing some jazz jazz voices from beyond somewhere sited on stage but pulling from a dark elsewhere. Not I to Rockaby to a third play, Words and Music, plays mouth to ether. Theatre? Jazzless? Avant-garde no musicality no compliance no soul, no other living soul? The stage a seeing place, the voice sound vibrating beyond spectacle into something else unseen always shocking coming from behind Rockaby’s V or those who watch really listen, the figure only a palimpsest a figure’s figure false locus all eyes all sides, the site buzzing with tone with rhythm bare whispers soul nonetheless whispers reprising euphony jazz all around embrace all eyes all sides high and low for another a little like.

42Words and Music all dark no begging no giving no words no sense no need 1961. Play. Radio. Music and Words, personae, and some others named Bob or Croak. Words speak words and music musics. Bob croaks and Croak bobs. All unseen heard anyway. Calypso Laurel and Hardy, unwritten, unpaged, music unnotable as always, unwritable, like improv, like jazz, but never off the ground, this play, interplay, Do you believe in the jazz to come? Mine always was that. Yet there, too, in music uninscribed, uninscribable, on demand, there before you know, though late, always late, has to be begged, then gone true truant. Absence is the only presence, presence never utters, never speaks, is itself again itself, never echoes, no strumming humming there or there or afar, what then barely heard, faintest, sound so nearly unheard nearly, one note tone phonemes reversed tone note then another spilling melody as maybe imagined, barely imagined, hints like a whiff of whatever floating from wherever, descried nonetheless, never on time in time, moody maybe, not timorous, flighty, euphony capricious tone note, descant indescribable, strain straining there and not, for the ear only for the ear. How so for so many foot tapping eavesdropping auditors, funny there is no word for hearers in English, listener maybe, auditor slides to accountant instantly, a glissement, même en français, l’auditeur devient comptable, chanson de geste, pourquoi on compte l’audition, écoute account, à côté, counting on the cost of sound on no account candid, caroming ricochet, bobbing unconductable, pretend to leash.

43Maybe that’s why Not I must have an auditor, not a witness, but a listener, standing robed arms corkscrew levers, down then up, down then up quadrumvirate accounting for the account, if we can call it that that, an account, stream of words in her ear, her ear. Nagg, too, in Endgame, must have a listener to hear his story, his joke story, bribing that Nell so long past hearing. And Winnie in Happy Days talks only to Willie who never speaks, maybe only hears, maybe53. And V in Rockaby is a listener, an auditor in accord, d’accord, the whole play listening to a listener listen. Theatre the seeing place is also a hearing place, sound ignored in language, escaping augury, auditorium only baggage in the Greek. But Beckett theatre all jazz a hearing as much as a seeing or more. No sound no play.

44So when back to the What Where, a play about saying not saying, quaternary choreography, martial minstrelsy, time passes when the day came in the end the day came when Beckett’s jazz says all this, no not say impart maybe no convey no no good words for the beyond saying said anyway but never by saying atmospheric pheramones perhaps or syllable phoneme notes that imply lead to lead off launch bury to make soar most soulful music leads away from soul to lead to it, omits to elicit, deprives to feel, but never in these terms, no loss and gain, no minus and plus, but says all in letting us know it is holding back that there is more unsaid than said more felt and that there is yet more to say54.


Adorno Theodor, “On Jazz”, trans. Jamie Owen Daniel, Discourse, vol. 12-1,1989-1990, p. 45-69.

Beckett Samuel, Endgame, New York, Grove Press, 1958.

Beckett Samuel, Happy Days, New York, Grove Press, 2013.

Beckett Samuel, “Not I, in Collected Shorter Plays, New York, Grove Weidenfeld, 1984, p. 213-223.

Beckett Samuel, “Rockaby”, in Collected Shorter Plays, New York, Grove Weidenfeld, 1984, p. 271-282.

Beckett Samuel, “What Where”, in Collected Shorter Plays, New York, Grove Weidenfeld, 1984, p. 307-316.

Beckett Samuel, “Words and Music in Collected Shorter Plays, New York, Grove Weidenfeld, 1984, p. 125-134.

Beckett Samuel, “The Unnameable”, in Three Novels by Samuel Beckett, New York, Grove Press, 1958.

Carmichael Hoagy, “Bread and Gravy”, 1937.

Cortázar Julio, “Bix Beiderbecke”, trad. Sandra Kingery, in Sascha Feinstein & David Rife (ed.), Jazz Fiction Anthology, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2009, p. 107-114.

Fitz L. T., “Gertrude Stein and Picasso: The Language of Surfaces”, American Literature: A Journal of Literary History, Criticism, and Bibliography, vol. 45, no 2, 1973, p. 228-237.

Fitzgerald F. Scott, Tales of the Jazz Age, New York, Penguin, 2011.

Fitzgerald F. Scott, Jazz Age Stories, ed. Patrick O’Donnell, New York, Penguin, 1998.

Galati Frank (adaptor) & Flaherty Stephen (composer), Loving Repeating, Musical Theatre International, 2006. <https://www.mtishows.com/loving-repeating> (August 8, 2018).

Gershwin George and Ira, “I Got Rhythm”, 1930.

Gershwin George and Ira, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”, 1937.

Giddings Gary, Visions of Jazz: The First Century, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1998.

“I Got Rhythm”. Wikipedia, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Got_Rhythm> (August 12, 2018).

Kerouac Jack, On the Road, New York, Penguin, 1955.

Murphy Maargueritte, “‘Familiar Strangers’: The Household Words of Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons”, Contemporary Literature, vol. 32, no 3, 1991 p. 383-402.

Porter Cole, The Cole Porter Song Collection, Volumes One and Two, New York, Alfred Publishing, 2009.

Schwartz Jean (music), Lewis Sam M. & Young Joe (lyrics), “Rock-a-bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody”, 1918.

Shapiro Nat & Hentoff Nat, Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya, New York, Dover, 1955.

Shipton Alyn, A New History of Jazz, London, Continuum, 2001.

Soh Soo-man, “The Influences of Picasso and Cézanne on the Style of Gertrude Stein”, The Journal of English Language and Literature, vol. 41, no 3, 1995, p. 721-740.

Steidele Angela, “Reading with the Body: Sound, Rhythm, and Music in Gertrude Stein”, in Krois, John Michael, Rosengren, Mats, Steidele, Angela, and Westerkamp, Dirk (ed.), Embodiment in Cognition and Culture, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Benjamins, 2007, p. 143-163.

Stein Gertrude, “As a Wife Has a Cow: A Love Story”, in Carl Van Vechten (ed.), Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, New York, Vintage, 1945, p. 541-545.

Stein Gertrude, “Matisse”, in Carl Van Vechten (ed.), Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, New York, Vintage, 1945, p. 329-33.

Stein Gertrude, “Matisse”, sound recording. <https://media.sas.upenn.edu/pennsound/authors/Stein/1935/Stein-Gertrude_Matisse.mp3> (August 8, 2018).

Van Vechten Carl (ed.), The Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, New York, Vintage, 1945.

Wallace Rob Wallace, Improvisation and the Making of American Literary Modernism, New York, Continuum, 2010.

Wolfe Susan J., “Insistence and Simplicity: The Influence of Gertrude Stein on Ernest Hemingway”, South Dakota Review, vol. 35, no 3, 1997, p. 95-111.


1 See Danny Barker and Edmond Hall’s accounts of the roles of bands at New Orleans funeral processions in Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff, Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya, New York, Dover, 1955, p. 30-31.

2 Shapiro and Hentoff, Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya, p. 139.

3 Shapiro and Hentoff, Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya, p. 183.

4 Shapiro and Hentoff, Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya, p. 46.

5 Shapiro and Hentoff, Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya, p. 209.

6 Shapiro and Hentoff, Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya, p. 144.

7 Shapiro and Hentoff, Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya, p. 159.

8 Jack Kerouac, On the Road, New York, Penguin, 1955, p. 243.

9 Julio Cortázar, “Bix Beiderbecke”, trad. Sandra Kingery, in Sascha Feinstein & David Rife (ed.), Jazz Fiction Anthology, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2009, p. 107-114 at p. 112.

10 Fitzgerald titled one collection of his stories Tales of the Jazz Age, New York, Penguin, 2011; and Patrick O’Donnell edited a collection of Fitzgerald’s stories, titled Jazz Age Stories, New York, Penguin, 1998.

11 Alyn Shipton, A New History of Jazz, London, Continuum, 2001, p. 1.

12 Alyn Shipton, A New History of Jazz, p. 1.

13 Alyn Shipton, A New History of Jazz, p. 3.

14 Alyn Shipton, A New History of Jazz, p. 5.

15 Gary Giddings, Visions of Jazz: The First Century, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1998, p. 3.

16 Gary Giddings, Visions of Jazz: The First Century, p. 3.

17 Gary Giddings, Visions of Jazz: The First Century, p. 7.

18 Theodor Adorno, “On Jazz”, trad. Jamie Owen Daniel, Discourse, vol. 12-1, 1989-1990, p. 45-69 at p. 67.

19 Theodor Adorno, “On Jazz”, p. 64.

20 Theodor Adorno, “On Jazz”, p. 53, 66, 48, 47, and 53 respectively.

21 Theodor Adorno, “On Jazz”, p. 62.

22 Theodor Adorno, “On Jazz”, p. 58.

23 Theodor Adorno, “On Jazz”, p. 54.

24 Theodor Adorno, “On Jazz”, p. 54.

25 Theodor Adorno, “On Jazz”, p. 59.

26 Theodor Adorno, “On Jazz”, p. 67. Adorno compares the “tone of jazz” as “this coloration is most genuinely recognizable in the unbearable Wurlitzer organ.”

27 “I Got Rhythm”, (1930) with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin was the Gershwins’ most oft-played song and model for “rhythm changes”. See “I Got Rhythm”, Wikipedia, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Got_Rhythm> (August 12, 2018). Cole Porter’s music is available in Cole Porter, The Cole Porter Song Collection, Volumes One and Two, New York, Alfred Publishing, 2009.

28 See, (or rather listen to) the tracks included on <www.ubu.com> of Stein reading her own work.

29 Carl Van Vechten (ed.), The Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, New York, Vintage, 1945.

30 Carl Van Vechten (ed.), The Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, p. xxii.

31 Carl Van Vechten (ed.), The Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, p. xxii.

32 Carl Van Vechten (ed.), The Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, p. xxiii.

33 Frank Galati (adaptor) and Stephen Flaherty (composer), Loving Repeating, Musical Theatre International, 2006. See <https://www.mtishows.com/loving-repeating> (August 8, 2018).

34 Several critics compare Stein’s writing to the work of cubists, including Soo-man Soh, “The Influences of Picasso and Cézanne on the Style of Gertrude Stein”, The Journal of English Language and Literature, vol. 41, no 3, 1995, p. 721-740; L. T. Fitz, “Gertrude Stein and Picasso: The Language of Surfaces”, American Literature: A Journal of Literary History, Criticism, and Bibliography, vol. 45, no 2, 1973, p. 228-37. Margueritte Murphy examines Stein’s use of common language in “‘Familiar Strangers’: The Household Words of Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons,” Contemporary Literature, vol. 32, no 3, 1991 p. 383-402; and several critics address her use of repetition including Susan J. Wolfe, “Insistence and Simplicity: The Influence of Gertrude Stein on Ernest Hemingway”, South Dakota Review, vol. 35, no 3, 1997, p. 95-111. Angela Steidele does consider Stein’s writing’s rhythms and musical quality in “Reading with the Body: Sound, Rhythm, and Music in Gertrude Stein”, in Krois, John Michael, Rosengren, Mats, Steidele, Angela, and Westerkamp, Dirk (ed.), Embodiment in Cognition and Culture, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Benjamins, 2007, p. 143-63.

35 The sound track of Stein reading “Matisse” is available at <https://media.sas.upenn.edu/pennsound/authors/Stein/1935/Stein-Gertrude_Matisse.mp3> (August 8, 2018).

36 Gertrude Stein, “Matisse”, in Carl Van Vechten (ed.), Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, p. 329-333.

37 Hoagy Carmichael, “Bread and Gravy”, 1937. For Ethel Waters’ rendition of the Carmichael song, “Bread and Gravy”, see <https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-GenieoYaho-fh_hp&hsimp=yhs-fh_hp&hspart=GenieoYaho&p=Ethel+Waters+Bread+and+Gravy#id=3&vid=9d57c0d11b9ba61c2adcd9fa3a5b3e54&action=view> (August 8, 2018).

38 Gertrude Stein, “As a Wife Has a Cow: A Love Story”, in Carl Van Vechten (ed.), Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, p. 541-545.

39 Gertrude Stein, “As a Wife Has a Cow: A Love Story”, in Carl Van Vechten (ed.), Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, p. 543.

40 “Nice Work If You Can Get It”, Music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, for the musical Damsel in Distress and published in 1937.

41 Rob Wallace, Improvisation and the Making of American Literary Modernism, New York, Continuum, 2010.

42 Samuel Beckett, Endgame, New York, Grove Press, 1958; Not I in Collected Shorter Plays, New York, Grove Weidenfeld, 1984, p. 213-223; Rockaby in Collected Shorter Plays, New York, Grove Weidenfeld, 1984, p. 271-282; Words and Music in Collected Shorter Plays, New York, Grove Weidenfeld, 1984, p. 125-134.

43 Samuel Beckett, Endgame, p. 11.

44 Samuel Beckett, “Not I, p. 216.

45 Samuel Beckett, “Not I, p. 216.

46 Samuel Beckett, “Rockaby, p. 276.

47 Samuel Beckett, “Not I, p. 219.

48 Samuel Beckett, “Rockaby, p. 278-279.

49 Samuel Beckett, “Rockaby, p. 275-276. From this point on, passages from this play and Not I intermingle with ther text. These have all been cited above.

50 Samuel Beckett, “Not I, p. 220.

51 This is the final line of Samuel Beckett’s “The Unnameable”, in Three Novels by Samuel Beckett, New York, Grove Press, 1958, p. 414.

52 Jean Schwartz with with lyrics by Sam M. Lewis & Joe Young, “Rock-a-bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody”, 1918.

53 Samuel Beckett, Happy Days, New York, Grove Press, 2013.

54 Samuel Beckett, “What Where”, in Collected Shorter Plays, p. 307-316.

Pour citer ce document

Judith Roof, « Jazz Mislaid Jazz: Rhythm has No Boundaries » dans « Unmoored Languages », « Lectures du monde anglophone », 2020 Licence Creative Commons
Ce(tte) œuvre est mise à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d’Utilisation Commerciale - Partage dans les Mêmes Conditions 4.0 International. Polygraphiques - Collection numérique de l'ERIAC EA 4705

URL : http://publis-shs.univ-rouen.fr/eriac/index.php?id=768.

Quelques mots à propos de :  Judith Roof

Rice University
Judith Roof works in 20th and 21st century literature, film, drama, criticism/theory, and culture generally, both US and UK as well as European loci of avant-gardisms. Her monographs include A Lure of Knowledge, Lesbian Sexuality and Theory, Come As You Are: Narrative and Sexuality, Reproductions of Reproduction: Imaging Symbolic Change, All About Thelma and Eve: Sidekicks and Third Wheels, The Poetics of DNA, What Gender Is, What Gender Does, and The Comic Event: Comedic Performance from the 1950s to the Present. She is Professor and William Shakespeare Chair in English at Rice University and in 2016, she was Chaire des Amériques at the University of Rennes 2.