Elliptical Sound: Audibility and the Space of Reading

Download the chapter here: Elliptical Sound

This intersection between the aesthetic affect of a writer’s prose style and the acoustic experience of listening closely to voices also informs Julie Beth Napolin’s analysis of how readers are implicitly trained to attend to the racial signifiers of voice in literary form. Corresponding with Murphet’s theorisation of sounds that cannot be heard, Napolin’s reading of Jean Toomer, Ralph Ellison, and Ernest Hemingway reveals the elliptical narrative acoustics that indirectly mediate and reinforce the sounds of racially marked speech (Introduction: Sounding Modernism 1890-1950, 12).

From Sounding Modernism: Rhythm and Sonic Mediation in Modern Literature and Film, eds. Julian Murphet, Penelope Hone, and Helen Groth. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2017: 109-129.

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