By Sam Halliday
Finds the numerous roles and varieties of sound in modernism. Drawing on a wealth of texts and thinkers, the publication exhibits the unique nature of sonic cultures in modernity. Arguing that those cultures aren't reducible to sound on my own, the publication additional exhibits that those surround representations of sound in 'other' media: specifically literature; but in addition, cinema and portray. Figures mentioned comprise canonical writers comparable to Joyce, Richardson, and Woolf; really missed writers comparable to Henry Roth and Bryher; and a complete host of musicians, artists, and different commentators, together with Wagner, Schoenberg, Kandinsky, Adorno, and Benjamin. Conceptually in addition to topically varied, the e-book engages matters equivalent to urban noise and 'foreign' accents, representations of sound in 'silent' cinema, the connection of track to language, and the consequences of know-how on sonic creation and reception
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Extra resources for Sonic modernity : representing sound in literature, culture and the arts
There are perhaps three key principles underlying Pater’s argument. 63 The key text here is Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s Laocoon (1766), which Pater cites himself within ‘The School of Giorgione’, and whose general influence extends deep into the twentieth century. Lessing’s basic claim is that some arts appeal to the ear, whereas others are directed at the eye; it is folly for members of either camp to ‘confuse’ or swap their offices. Supplementing this distinction is an existential or ontological one between time and space, each of which are pegged to one of Lessing’s designated senses (space to vision, time to hearing), and which are further seen as irreconcilable within any given artwork.
50 Wagner’s ‘infinite diversity of voices’, furthermore, is mirrored by Marlow’s tendency to assign vocal status to even the most fugitive or modest sounds. For example, the coast of Africa is imagined as ‘“mute with an air of whispering”’, while ‘“The voice of the surf”’ is likened to ‘“the speech of a brother”’ (pp. 150–1). The voice itself, in part because of this, becomes one of the text’s dominant concerns, both as a thematic preoccupation and as the very form of Marlow’s narration. But perhaps the most immediately striking consonance between Wagner’s text and Conrad’s tale is their shared concern with silence.
But then at a certain moment, without being able to distinguish any clear outline, or to give a name to what was pleasing him, suddenly enraptured, he had tried to grasp the phrase or harmony – he did not know which – that had just been played and that opened and expanded his soul, as the fragrance of certain roses, wafted upon the moist air of evening, has the power of dilating one’s nostrils. 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.