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Readings and Readings

A friend noted that my reading (divination) for her in these virtual pages was helpful, so she wasn’t surprised that my in-person (authorial) reading of two poems and a story at a convention went over well.

This led to a moment of cognitive dissonance for me, since (in my own wetware, at least) divinatory/inspirational readings are filed in some very different category than authorial readings.

I suppose you could call them both a form of performance art, and not totally unrelated, especially if you look at the immersive story readings I’ve been doing here. But the back of my brain keeps going “but—but—but!”

So, what do you folks think? Are readings and readings related? How? Why? Should they be?

Here there be critters!


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 17th, 2011 04:14 pm (UTC)

My first thought was "ask dad," which is both non-indicative and helps you not at all.

But looking at that for a moment: my father is the person more inclined to such things as readings (divination) in the family, and more inclined to public-speaking-type things.

If there is a connection between the two, I think it is in the being connected: readings (poetry) work better if you are feeling your audience, after all. And while I am not all that familiar with divination, there is a connection of some sort going on, yes?
Feb. 21st, 2011 01:48 pm (UTC)
You're welcome to ask your Dad and let him know I invite his comments here. It's not required, of course, but I'm finding this conversation very interesting, even though it took me several days to get far enough out of the brain fog to do more than think "I really want to continue this conversation" while staring at a blank screen!

(Which is further evidenced by the fact that I thought I posted this last night!)
Feb. 17th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC)
It's all storytelling, right?

My mom, who made a bit of a career as a trance medium, astrologer and psychic reader, told me the key to doing a reading is to relax, focus on the other person, and just start talking. Your creative mind will make the necessary connections as you go. Which it occurs to me is the same process as starting an improv scene. And writing a story (substitute "writing" for "talking").

I'm trying to think of anyone I know who's reasonably competent at divination (or improv for that matter) who isn't also a writer, and I'm drawing a blank. The underlying creative process must be similar. Interesting observation. Your friend must be pretty smart :)
Feb. 20th, 2011 11:50 pm (UTC)
Storytelling, or making connections?
Storytelling plays into it, of course, but "all"?

I have problems with "all". Telling a story in print in a way that many people will appreciate requires skills that telling a story in person does not--and vice versa. This is, of course, in addition to the skills that are needed for both.

But making connections, now...you do need to make connections for storytelling to work. You lose people if they can't see the connections between the actions of the protagonists and the outcome of the story, and you lose people if they feel no personal connection to the story. Similarly, in doing divination, you don't get a perception of success if the querant does not feel you connected to them, to their life and their future.
Feb. 18th, 2011 08:02 pm (UTC)
I see them as very different. In my mind oracular reading uses the parts of the brain that relate to art, non-logical, and creative, while reading something already written down uses the verbal, logical parts of the brain. Not trying to suggest here that I actually know which parts of the brain do what because I don't. It is simply the way I think of the two skill sets.
Feb. 20th, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC)
So, when you read something I've written, that uses the verbal/logical parts of the brain...

What about when I read something I've written?

I can tell you it's very different

*reading it aloud with the intent of catching awkward stuff, typos, grammos, and the like, and

*reading it aloud as a performance for an audience.

How do you see performances? creative or logical?
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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