Sound Effects: The Object Voice in Fiction


Sound Effects combines literary criticism and psychoanalytic theory in eleven original articles which explore the potential of the object voice as an analytic tool to approach fiction. Alongside the gaze, the voice is Jacques Lacan’s original addition to the set of partial objects of classical psychoanalysis, and has only recently been theorised by Mladen Dolar in A Voice and Nothing More (2006). With notable exceptions like Garrett Stewart’s Reading Voices (1990), the sonorous element in fiction has received little scholarly attention in comparison with poetry and drama. Sound Effects is a contribution to the burgeoning field of sound studies, and sets out to fill this gap through selective readings of English and American fiction of the last two hundred years.

Contributors: Fred Botting, Natalja Chestopalova, Mladen Dolar, Matt Foley, Alex Hope, Phillip Mahoney, Sylvia Mieszkowski, Jorge Sacido-Romero, Marcin Stawiarski, Garrett Stewart, Peter Weise, and Bruce Wyse.

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Jorge Sacido-Romero, Ph.D. (1967), is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Santiago de Compostela. He has published widely on modern British fiction writers and is the editor of Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Short Story in English (Rodopi, 2012).

Sylvia Mieszkowski, Ph.D. (1973), is currently guest professor of English literature at Bayreuth University. She has published Teasing Narratives (2003), a comparative study on tales of dysfunctional seduction, and Resonant Alterities, a monograph on sound in non-realist fiction (2014).
“The editors succeeded in selecting and organizing a number of high quality contributions by some of the most prominent names in the field in a book which definitely fulfils its aims. Sound Effects can at times make a demanding reading but it is also a much needed one for academics interested on the ways literary criticism intersects with psychoanalytic theory and sound studies. By triangulating these fields, the volume does not only contribute to fill a critical vacuum, but it also paves the way to further research on the vocal effects of texts and the intriguing notion of the “object voice” in fiction.”- María Casado Villanueva, University College of Southeast Norway, in Nexus, Vol. 2 2017 pp. 54-59

Preface: Is There a Voice in the Text?
Mladen Dolar

Revoicing Writing: An Introduction to Theorizing Vocality
Jorge Sacido-Romero and Sylvia Mieszkowski

‘Secondary Vocality’ and the Sound Defect
Garrett Stewart

Section I: The Nineteenth Century

The Object Voice in Romantic Irish Novels
Peter Weise

Poe, Voice and the Origin of Horror Fiction
Fred Botting

Double Voice and Extimate Singing in Trilby
Bruce Wyse

Section II: The Twentieth Century

Bloom’s Neume: The Object Voice in the “Sirens” Episode in Joyce’s Ulysses
Phillip Mahoney

Fantasizing Agency and Otherness through Voice and Voicelessness in Ellison’s Invisible Man
Natalja Chestopalova

The Voice in Twentieth-Century English Short Fiction: E.M. Forster, V.S. Pritchett and Muriel Spark
Jorge Sacido-Romero

Section III: The Twenty-First Century

Voices of Terror and Horror: Towards an Acoustics of Modern Gothic
Matt Foley

“That which cannot be said”: Voice, Desire and the Uncanny in Armistead Maupin’s The Night Listener
Sylvia Mieszkowski

“It’s only combinations of letters, after all, isn’t it”: The “Voice” and Spirit Mediums in Thomas Pynchon’s Against the Day (2006)
Alexander Hope

‘Voice-Trace’ in James Chapman’s How Is This Going to Continue? (2007)
Marcin Stawiarski

Notes on Contributors
Academic libraries, scholars and post-graduate students of English and American fiction of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, psychoanalysis, cultural theory and sound studies, specifically voice studies.
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