Under the terms of this agreement, John Bircheley of London taught the monks plainsong, pricksong
, faburden ("fafunden") and descant, as well as organ playing and "to sett songes yf thay be dysposed to gif theymsellffe therunto," In other words, among several other duties, Bircheley was expected to teach the whole gamut of skins required of a liturgical musician to the monks, including composition.
Though along the way Girl and "Order and Flux" might re-Cooverize a descanted pricksong
He has received the Rea Award for lifetime achievement in short fiction, based on such works as Pricksongs
& Descants, A Night at the Movies, and A Child Again.
My forty-year engagement with Coover fiction and its author begins in 1970 when, a green assistant professor, I read Pricksongs
& Descants, which so bowled me over I had to teach it to understand it better.
A notable exception is Cristina Bacchilega, "Folktales, Fictions and Meta-Fictions: Their Interaction in Robert Coover's Pricksongs
& Descants," New York Folklore 6.
Robert Coover offers more complex examples of this technique in Pricksongs
and Descants especially in the story "Quenby and Ola, Swede and Carl.
& Descants came out while my mother was pregnant with
The grade would be based on two long papers, but students who might feel embarrassed discussing a book called Pricksongs
and Descants did not have to attend.
& Descants (1969), Red Riding Hood's grandmother is described by her son as "preferring rot to obliteration, possessed like them all by a mad will, mindless and intransigent.
In his early stories, the closest we come is perhaps the all-inclusive third-person plural of "The Sentient Lens," in Pricksongs
& Descants (1969).
I had recently read Pricksongs
& Descants, and was particularly intrigued by "The Leper's Helix.
That in turn led me to the rest of the stories in Pricksongs
& Descants and introduced me to Coover's fascination with myth and with stories and traditions that had come before him, and to his remarkable ability to bend and turn stories that I thought I knew to make them serve other purposes entirely.