The paper focuses on Kemp’s Nine Days’ Wonder, the only published writing by the famous Elizabethan actor which relates the stages of his memorable morris dance from London to Norwich in 1600 assembling an impressive variety of hybrid modes and forms, which in a way transposes onto the written page the dynamic, carnivalesque and liminal dimension of the live performance itself. The main narrative is set in form of an ordered chronological and spatial journal (that is, ‘the nine days’ journey’) but is continuously disrupted by Kemp’s strategy of professional improvisation, which turns every encounter on the road with all sorts of people into a pretext for showing both his physical prowess and his verbal skills, thus mimicking a sort of acrobatics between different paces (impressive leaps, running steps, pauses, the incessant flow of crowds of spectators) and different genres (farcical elements, dramatic monologue, social satire, punning, an “odd Rime”, a ballad, riddles and proverbs, and so on …). The intertextual richness of the text is further reinforced by a paratextual fringe, signalled at the beginning by “An Epistle Dedicatory” and at the end by “Kemp’s Humble Request”, thus offering vivid insights into that battle of authors and actors, script and performance which was on display as a dramatic, social and cultural issue in those turbulent and transitional years of the Elizabethan age.

"Kemp's Nine Days' Wonder: Intertextual Acrobatics between Stage, Pace and Page"

LAUDANDO, Carmela Maria
2009

Abstract

The paper focuses on Kemp’s Nine Days’ Wonder, the only published writing by the famous Elizabethan actor which relates the stages of his memorable morris dance from London to Norwich in 1600 assembling an impressive variety of hybrid modes and forms, which in a way transposes onto the written page the dynamic, carnivalesque and liminal dimension of the live performance itself. The main narrative is set in form of an ordered chronological and spatial journal (that is, ‘the nine days’ journey’) but is continuously disrupted by Kemp’s strategy of professional improvisation, which turns every encounter on the road with all sorts of people into a pretext for showing both his physical prowess and his verbal skills, thus mimicking a sort of acrobatics between different paces (impressive leaps, running steps, pauses, the incessant flow of crowds of spectators) and different genres (farcical elements, dramatic monologue, social satire, punning, an “odd Rime”, a ballad, riddles and proverbs, and so on …). The intertextual richness of the text is further reinforced by a paratextual fringe, signalled at the beginning by “An Epistle Dedicatory” and at the end by “Kemp’s Humble Request”, thus offering vivid insights into that battle of authors and actors, script and performance which was on display as a dramatic, social and cultural issue in those turbulent and transitional years of the Elizabethan age.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11574/39800
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