By Allen S. Weiss
Breathless explores early sound recording and the literature that either foreshadowed its invention and used to be contemporaneous with its early years, revealing the extensive impression of this new expertise on the very origins of Modernism. via shut readings of works via Edgar Allan Poe, Stéphane Mallarmé, Charles Cros, Paul Valéry, Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, Jules Verne, and Antonin Artaud, Allen S. Weiss indicates how sound recording's uncanny confluence of human and desktop might remodel our expectancies of mourning and melancholia, transfiguring our intimate relation to loss of life. Interdisciplinary, the e-book bridges poetry and literature, theology and metaphysics. As Breathless indicates, the symbolic and functional roles of poetry and expertise have been remodeled as new kinds of nostalgia and eroticism arose.
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Extra resources for Breathless: Sound Recording, Disembodiment, and the Transformation of Lyrical Nostalgia
In Le souffle coupe: Respirer et ecrire (Bated Breath: Breathing and Writing), Francis-Bernard Michel explains the existential significance of the symptoms of asthma. " 21 Asthma is thus one of the most anxiety-producing diseases, as the incapacity to breathe evokes the immediate specter of the most horrible death. Hippocrates already noted that this crisis takes the form of a cataclysm, a veritable tragedy, a morbid classic drama with its well-ordered stages of augmentation, crisis, and decline.
But internal, visceral, muscular . . "32 Were his voice to have come from a cavern, as Poe's text and Barthes s analysis misleadingly suggest, it would be that of the chest. But this is not the case, for the narrator tells us that Valdemar showed "not the faintest sign of vitality," that "the mirror no longer afforded evidence of respiration," and that "the only real indication, indeed, of the mesmeric influence, was now found in the vibratory movement of the tongue" (101).
Appearances of the fold manifest a perpetual ontological slippage in contrast to any possible mimetic, symbolic, or metaphysical operation of resemblance or representation. The ambiguity between inner and outer voids would seem to function psychologically for Mallarme as an ego defense against the idea of his own death. Yet its textual role relates more specifically to that cognitive and emotive interference known as chance, the vagaries of which will increasingly haunt the author through his last work, Un coup de des (A Roll of the Dice), where the aleatory will finally be reckoned with.
Breathless: Sound Recording, Disembodiment, and the Transformation of Lyrical Nostalgia by Allen S. Weiss