Sonic Modernity: Representing Sound in Literature, Culture by Sam Halliday

By Sam Halliday

Unearths the numerous roles and sorts of sound in modernism. Drawing on a wealth of texts and thinkers, the publication indicates the special nature of sonic cultures in modernity. Arguing that those cultures should not reducible to sound on my own, the e-book additional indicates that those surround representations of sound in 'other' media: particularly literature; but additionally, cinema and portray. Figures mentioned comprise canonical writers reminiscent of Joyce, Richardson, and Woolf; particularly overlooked writers reminiscent of 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 diversified, the e-book engages concerns corresponding to urban noise and 'foreign' accents, representations of sound in 'silent' cinema, the connection of track to language, and the results of expertise on sonic creation and reception.

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Additional resources for Sonic Modernity: Representing Sound in Literature, Culture and the Arts (Edinburgh Critical Studies in Modernist Culture)

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Perhaps it was owing to his ignorance of music that he had received so confused an impression, one of those that are none the less the only purely musical impressions, limited in their extent, entirely original, and irreducible to any other kind. An impression of this order, vanishing in an instant, is, so to speak, sine materia. Doubtless the notes which we hear at such moments tend, according to their pitch and volume, to spread out before our eyes over surfaces of varying dimensions, to trace arabesques, to give us sensations of breadth or tenuity, stability or caprice.

Indd 28 28/01/2013 15:39 THEORISING SOUND AND HEARING omnibuses pass and repass us continuously. ”’31 Quite apart from the fact that Louis’s words suggest an eclipse (rather than increase) of sensory discrimination, however, the very same stimuli, or similar, were adduced by other people as responsible for a lessening or confusion of the senses. 32 This is Aristotle’s argument about ‘excesses’ of sense-objects ‘destroy[ing] the sense-organs’ with a vengeance. A no less taxing sonic character was ascribed to another city, New York, when, after a twenty-one year absence, Henry James returned there in 1904.

And yet, there are other ways in which inwardness need not be identified with solipsism or a withdrawal from reality. In his remarks on sound itself, Kant suggests a link between the derived or expressed quality of sounds – it is always something ‘else’ that makes a sound, since sound cannot make itself – and the cognitive procedure that is or that issues in abstraction. Since ‘sounds are nothing in themselves or at any rate not objects [. ] they are the best means of expressing concepts’ (p. 42).

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