By Sam Halliday
Unearths the various roles and types of sound in modernism. Drawing on a wealth of texts and thinkers, the e-book indicates the particular nature of sonic cultures in modernity. Arguing that those cultures are usually not reducible to sound by myself, the e-book additional exhibits that those surround representations of sound in 'other' media: specifically literature; but in addition, cinema and portray. Figures mentioned comprise canonical writers akin to Joyce, Richardson, and Woolf; rather overlooked writers corresponding to Henry Roth and Bryher; and an entire host of musicians, artists, and different commentators, together with Wagner, Schoenberg, Kandinsky, Adorno, and Benjamin. Conceptually in addition to topically different, the ebook engages concerns comparable to urban noise and 'foreign' accents, representations of sound in 'silent' cinema, the connection of song to language, and the results of know-how on sonic construction and reception
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Extra info for Sonic modernity : representing sound in literature, culture and the arts
3 Like other senses, hearing is conceived as an arbiter between opposing qualities within the objects it perceives – for instance, sharp or flat (in terms of musical pitch) or rough and smooth (in terms of tone) (p. 184). As they are acted on, the senses are constantly remoulded by their objects, despite remaining untouched by them at a fundamental level; a difficult idea which Aristotle renders by means of an analogy with sealing wax, which similarly takes on the ‘forms’ of objects pressed upon it without being affected by them in its essential substance (p.
425). Similarly, melody is both continually suggestive of ‘physical movement’ and, as such, productive of ‘a direct impulse to move; which is not only felt but constantly yielded to in varying degrees’ (p. 103; emphasis removed). Music is therefore related to the inward life, not as something spiritual and immaterial (as Hegel thought), but rather, as a commentary on the most material aspects of existence. Hearing music is a displaced or mediate experience of our own bodies. It is at this point that we can note coeval nineteenth-century developments in the scientific study of the body, where researchers were equally concerned with the neural and anatomical structures potentiating all aesthetic judgements.
Describing an apparatus built out of cardboard, a clothes brush and other makeshift materials by schoolboys in a science class, Rilke writes: ‘When someone spoke or sang into the funnel [. ’25 A metaphysically-attuned interpretation follows: ‘We were confronting, as it were, a new and infinitely delicate point in the texture of reality’; an ‘independent sound, taken from us and preserved outside us’; seemingly ‘far greater than ourselves’, yet simultaneously ‘indescribably immature’ (p. 128). 26 The mouth/ear partnership, so important in Kant’s account of human speech, discussed above, has been disrupted, so that one’s own speech is experienced at a temporal remove, unnervingly detached from one’s own person.