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Sonic Modernity

Representing Sound in Literature, Culture and the Arts

Sam Halliday

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Reveals the many roles and forms of sound in modernism

Drawing on a wealth of texts and thinkers, the book shows the distinctive nature of sonic cultures in modernity. Arguing that these cultures are not reducible to sound alone, the book further shows that these encompass representations of sound in 'other' media: especially literature; but also, cinema and painting.

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About the Author

Sam Halliday teaches in the Department of English at Queen Mary, University of London. He is the author of Science and Technology in the Age of Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, and James: Thinking and Writing Electricity (2007).


'Conceptually expansive and revealingly oxymoronic, Sam Halliday's exploration of the effect of technological development on modernism's relationship with sound is thorough and illuminating.'
- Serena Gosden, TLS

... a truly impressive and interdisciplinary overview of the subject.

- CHRISTIN HOENE, Humboldt University of Berlin, Music and Letters, vol 17, no 2

Sam Halliday’s fascinating account of sonic modernity offers a distinctively new terrain for modernist studies. Wide-ranging and superbly well-informed, his book will make attentive listeners of us all.

- Peter Nicholls, Professor of English, New York University

One of the most exciting accounts of modernism to have appeared for some time, Sonic Modernity is a vibrant panorama of a book, underwritten with a powerful conceptual sensibility. Addressing a wide array of writers, composers, and other figures, this study offers a refreshed and wholly original inquiry into the unexpected reaches of modernist ideas.

- Professor Ian F. A. Bell, Keele University

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