Breathless: Sound Recording, Disembodiment, and the Transformation of Lyrical Nostalgia

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Wesleyan University Press, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 177 pages
Breathless explores early sound recording and the literature that both foreshadowed its invention and was contemporaneous with its early years, revealing the broad influence of this new technology at the very origins of Modernism. Through close readings of works by Edgar Allan Poe, Stéphane Mallarmé, Charles Cros, Paul Valéry, Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, Jules Verne, and Antonin Artaud, Allen S. Weiss shows how sound recording's uncanny confluence of human and machine would transform our expectations of mourning and melancholia, transfiguring our intimate relation to death. Interdisciplinary, the book bridges poetry and literature, theology and metaphysics. As Breathless shows, the symbolic and practical roles of poetry and technology were transformed as new forms of nostalgia and eroticism arose.

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About the author (2002)

Allen S. Weiss teaches in the Departments of Performance Studies and Cinema Studies at New York University, and is author and editor of over twenty books including Phantasmic Radio (1995).

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