- Title Pages
- Text I
- Text II
- I Centaur-songs: Romanticism and broken forms
- Text III
- 2 Singing the unspeakable
- Text IV
- 3 ‘God was in France all Friday’: incoherence from the inside
- Text V
- 4 Sea-changes: minimal texts as regenerative forms
- Text VI
- 5 Forgetting as in(ter)vention: memory and context in very short songs
- Text VII*
- 6 Beating time: resistance and the subaltern voice in prison work songs
- Text VIII
- 7 Fragments and fringes: the view from the centre
- Text IX*
- 8 The intertextuality of the song fragment
- Text X*
- Text XI
- Intertexts: contexts
- Works cited
- Index of songs
- General index
- (p.224) (p.225) Conclusion
- Fragments and Meaning in Traditional Song
- British Academy
This chapter discusses the major conclusions that can be gathered from the previous chapters. It determines that fragments and fragmentary styles are reinvented with each literary generation. For the writers in the early twentieth century, broken forms have been considered as a way to convey absences and emptiness, and even the breakdown of communication. The chapter also shows how the fragment has become an emblem of the discontinuous and rapidly changing nature of the postmodern condition. Stripped down songs, folk-song scholarship, and other important concepts are discussed and reviewed.
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