An incomplete history of collaborative artsmaking
and its impact on PALIMPSEST.
- World Within Walls: Japanese literature of the pre-modern era, 1600-1867 by Donald Keene which presents the art of renga.
"The art of renga (linked verse) originated as a kind of elegant parlor game. Each participant was expected to display his readiness of wit by responding to the lines of verse composed by another man with lines of his own(...). The more absurd or puzzling the content of the first man's lines, the greater the achievement of the second man if he managed to add two or three lines that, perhaps by a clever play on words, made sense of the whole.
This primitive display of ingenuity was soon left behind by the serious renga masters of the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries. They went beyond composing a single poem in thirty-one syllables, ectending their joint efforts to a hundred or even a thousand "links" bound together into a single chain by overtones and evocations rather than by plays on wors or clever shifts in meaning, and their art was universally revered." (pages 11-12)
"The uta-awase (poem competitions) of the Heian period had also involved the participation of many persons in the creation of poetry, but they providedd less the pleasure of cooperation than the excitement of rivalry. Renga, on the other handd, resembled the traditional football game called kemari, a joint effort to keep the ball in the air, rather than the competition to dedtermine who can kick the ball farthest and fastest." (page 512)
World Within Walls (WWW!), links... The only thing is that women have joined the party and that seriousness is more hidden than it used to be.
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