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January 11, 2011


Charles Sharp

These are great examples, but I am a bit curious about the spelling in the quote from Fred McDowell. I am hoping that this was the spelling used in the liner notes and not your decision to try to emphasize Mr. McDowell's accent and pronunciation. His pronunciation of words like "guitar" and "understand" are correct-- what do we gain by misspelling them? A more "authentic" country flavor? Do we ever spell out our own accents when writing in "our own voice"? We have third layer of speaking here: the words enunciated by the performer / the music (or instrument) enunciating words / and a writer re-inscribing the aurality of an accent. Is there a parallel here between the way in which we spell words and the way in which McDowell lets the guitar speak in its own voice? I can't help but find this act of misspelling to be an act of interpretative violence while McDowell's (and countless other musicians') practice of letting the instrument speak is a poetic act of the highest order.



It certainly is the liner notes that I quoted from, and I used the spellings just as they are found there.

I decided to type it up because it emphasized exactly what I was trying to focus the post on, and because those few lines are not isolated in McDowell's narrative in the posted video, so I thought it could be more easily seen if isolated.

I had absolutely no intent to harm in typing the liner notes up this way. Thanks for pointing out that it could come across other wise.

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