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  1. The Brooklyn Book Festival 2019: September 16 – 23
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  6. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak
  7. Robert Southey: The Pauper’s Funeral (Poem)
  8. Transformation by Mary Shelley
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  10. Marcel Schwob: Rasant les murs du port… (Poème)

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Eardrums. Literary Modernism as Sonic Warfare by Tyler Whitney

In this innovative study, Tyler Whitney demonstrates how a transformation and militarization of the civilian soundscape in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries left indelible traces on the literature that defined the period.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is eardrums19.jpegBoth formally and thematically, the modernist aesthetics of Franz Kafka, Robert Musil, Detlev von Liliencron, and Peter Altenberg drew on this blurring of martial and civilian soundscapes in traumatic and performative repetitions of war.

At the same time, Richard Huelsenbeck assaulted audiences in Zurich with his “sound poems,” which combined references to World War I, colonialism, and violent encounters in urban spaces with nonsensical utterances and linguistic detritus—all accompanied by the relentless beating of a drum on the stage of the Cabaret Voltaire.

Eardrums is the first book-length study to explore the relationship between acoustical modernity and German modernism, charting a literary and cultural history written in and around the eardrum. The result is not only a new way of understanding the sonic impulses behind key literary texts from the period. It also outlines an entirely new approach to the study of literature as as the interaction of text and sonic practice, voice and noise, which will be of interest to scholars across literary studies, media theory, sound studies, and the history of science.

Tyler Whitney is an assistant professor of German at the University of Michigan.

Tyler Whitney (Author)
Eardrums.
Literary Modernism as Sonic Warfare
Cloth Text – $99.95
ISBN 978-0-8101-4022-6
Paper Text – $34.95
ISBN 978-0-8101-4021-9
Northwestern University Press
Publication Date June 2019
Literary Criticism
232 pages
Price: $24.00

# new books
Tyler Whitney
Eardrums.
Literary Modernism as Sonic Warfare

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