Sure, Sookie's telepathic, but we're polyphonic [poli‐fon‐ik]; meaning literally ‘many‐voiced’!
Here's a bar-related analogy to give you mental picture of what we mean by this...
...Perhaps you've heard of - or maybe even tried - a layered drink known by any of these charming names: Attitude Adjustment, Black Death, or Swamp Thing? In bartender-speak these are called pousse-cafés; an aesthetically pleasing style of alcoholic cordial prepared by gently adding several liqueurs of different density in order to create a multilayered effect of colored stripes when the drink is viewed from the side.
...We'll start with ours - Rachel's and Rebecca's - your salonnières. Since we write this blog together you will hear both of our authorial voices in this space.
When we opened up shop here one of the things we wanted to do was to bring our ongoing conversations about True Blood into the public sphere; we share a very close sibling relationship and as such the familiar style that typifies our usual exchanges will at times be apparent in our cadence.
As sisters and best friends we have a lot in common but we're also different in many ways; you'll hear distinctions in our written voices that reflect our respective points of view, habits of mind, influences, and preferred modes of expression.
Even though posts - at least for now - will be autosigned "Rachel and Rebecca" we will each actually sign off at the bottom of our respective posts so you know who's speaking.
We'll throw different approaches to writing and interacting with readers into the mix too. Sometimes we'll sound conversational, at other times scholarly...we might post a quick missive; an observation, a question, or a prompt to get you thinking - or a longer essay...
...Next, we'll pour in the voices that inform our worldview - from all corners of pop culture to high art; politics to poetry, to the mass media and academia - and spanning the spaces in between. Leading voices in feminist thought, women's studies, and Goddess scholarship not often heard in mainstream discourse will be audible here.
Then, we'll layer in the voices of True Blood - including those of the characters themselves whose world and lives are fodder for our reflection and analysis as well as those of the critics and commentators who write about the show.
Topping off this heady concoction will be YOUR VOICE without which writing this blog might very well become an irrelevant and egocentric exercise!
A MULTIMEDIA MULTIMODAL MÉLANGE
In its obsession with formal logic and rationality, our culture has disproportionately privileged the written word; this means a loss of fruitful contact with an entire wellspring of meaning.
Take gifted African indigenous scientist and writer Malidoma Somé's experiences with Western education; he recalls how with his literacy “came with a mind that loved to affirm itself by wielding the sword of analysis” (1998, p.8). One type of knowledge had colonized his thoughts; when his mind failed to fit events into its various rational slots, it was prompt to dismiss them as primitive trickery unworthy of civilized thinking, thus leaving a wide range of experience unexplored.
If you think about it, it's pretty much the same throughout our society - we tend to focus on the head and to ignore the rest of our being. Peace studies scholar Anne Goodman (2002) emphasizes the need for different kinds of processes that tell us more than what we can know rationally since learning does not just involve the intellect; instead it includes every interconnected aspect of our being: the physical, emotional, aesthetic, and spiritual.
We can't (and shouldn't) just completely disavow the rational mode, especially in a blog like this that so heavily relies on reading and writing...
|baby out with bath water|
...but a good solution for the one-dimensional approach would be to augment and compliment it with other ways of making meaning that are central to self-knowledge and that draw attention to the affective quality and poetry of human experience.
We know that extrarational modes like art and music can speak to us in ways that words can't - they are alternative languages that valorize and help us hook up to multiple ways of knowing, processing, and expressing.
That's why this space is designed to be multimodal and multimedia dense. We'll be using images, snatches of poetry, quotes, video clips, snippets of music & song lyrics, and more when ordinary prose just won't suffice to express our thoughts - and we encourage you to do the same in your comments!
Goodman, A. (2002). Transformative learning and cultures of peace. In E. V. O’Sullivan, A. Morrell, & M. O’Connor (Eds.), Expanding the boundaries of transformative learning: Essays on theory and praxis (pp. 185-198). New York, NY: Palgrave.
Somé, M. P. (1998). The healing wisdom of Africa: Finding life purpose through nature, ritual, and community. New York, NY: Penguin/Putnam.