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Sonic ModernityRepresenting Sound in Literature, Culture and the Arts$
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Sam Halliday

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748627615

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627615.001.0001

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Sound And Social Life

Sound And Social Life

(p.52) Chapter 2 Sound And Social Life
Sonic Modernity

Sam Halliday

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter shows how sound articulates the social, in the latter’s myriad forms, by both facilitating and expressing concrete forms of social interaction. The chapter begins with an extended discussion of Dorothy Richardson, and her fiction’s interest in ‘sound-space’, the sonic characters of built environments. The chapter then considers literary representations of parties and of cities such as London and New York; ‘foreign’ accents as encountered in such cities (a particular concern of Jewish American authors such as Henry Roth and Abraham Cahan); sound technologies such as the gramophone, telephone and radio; the abiding literary association between piano playing and erotic love; and the particular vision of communal solidarity involved in Wagner’s conception of his musical festival at Bayreuth. In addition to those named above, figures discussed include Wallace Stevens, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Mann and Nietzsche.

Keywords:   Dorothy Richardson, The city, Sound Technology, Music, Love, Wagner

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