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Friday, September 27, 2013

Show Review: Jessica Pratt @ Casbah; Delphic Oracle & Azar Swan @ The Void

The lovely and talented Jessica Pratt at the Casbah

Show Review:
 Jessica Pratt @ Casbah;
Delphic Oracle & Azar Swan @ The Void

 I've been trying to experience the San Diego club scene with an eye towards the social architecture developed by 18th century English writers in dance/crowd/pleasure garden scenes. (1)  These descriptions are typified by a structure where the protagonist arrives at the designated gathering point, always as part of a group- never alone.

 Once arrived, the Author will often describe the physical location: the venue, as it were.  This physical description was often a drawing point for contemporary (18th century) readers because it would describe places, like the Ranelagh Pleasure Garden in London, that novel readers had never been to.  After this description, there is a description of the initial social arrangement of the protagonist.  Often times, this is a younger woman talking to an older woman, often times the subject of conversation is either the physical space just described by the Author or the particular social problem which the scene is met to resolve.

 This social problem is usually related to courtship, courtship and inheritance being the two main subjects of 18th century fiction, and inheritance not really being the kind of thing one discusses in public at a social gathering.

 After the initial set up of the scene and social problem confronting the protagonist, usually there is a set piece where the protagonist engages the setting and the problem at the same time: Talking to her beau during a dance, or while watching a performance and this animates the relationship between social space and social interaction, creating an impression of movement within the narrative.

  I haven't figured out how to adapt this dynamic to a show review without disclosing more personal information then necessary, but I'm working on it, because I want to incorporate literary techniques into art criticism.


(1) For early examples the work of Frances Burney are particularly apt.  Try Camillia or Cecilia- both of which have been reviewed here.

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