A poetics of listening: sound as distant diapason delight in the work of Susan Howe

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dc.contributor Wittman, Emily Ondine
dc.contributor Bilwakesh, Nikhil
dc.contributor Barefoot, Bebe
dc.contributor.advisor Lazer, Hank
dc.contributor.author Beasley, Aaron Michael
dc.date.accessioned 2017-03-01T16:48:01Z
dc.date.available 2017-03-01T16:48:01Z
dc.date.issued 2013
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0001269
dc.identifier.other Beasley_alatus_0004M_11540
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/1739
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract Susan Howe is well known for her visual scatterings of text. This essay explores her early and late poetry's acoustic dimensions as framed by an attention to the "stutter" in American literature. Howe unlocks the wildness of history by displacing its sources and finding their hidden traces in manuscripts, letters, ephemera, and hushed voices appropriated by the "record of winners." While critics have directed our attention to visual prosodic disturbances enacted at the level of the page, I argue that a similar disruptive potential exists in the acoustic shape of Howe's words and syntactical arrangements. Using her own explicit references to Henry Thoreau, Jonathan Edwards, and Wallace Stevens, I examine Howe's affinity for an other mode of thinking that incorporates sensuous experience before (or in place of) a distillation of truth-content. In addition to these authors' approaches to sound, I explore the possibility of an aural shift from the rational primacy of the eye toward the sensibly various and fluctuating attentions in the ear. I provide some philosophical and phenomenological, as well as ethical, bases for welcoming such shifts. Through her collaborations with David Grubbs, Howe has extended her disruptive spatial productions into the temporal dimension of performance. Actively listening to Grubbs' processing techniques in conjunction with Howe's reading can reveal a bias in our attention to `significant' sounds at the cost of (in)significant `noise.' The essay concludes with some test cases of listening to the recordings of Thiefth, Souls of the Labadie Tract, and Frolic Architecture.
dc.format.extent 119 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Literature
dc.title A poetics of listening: sound as distant diapason delight in the work of Susan Howe
dc.type thesis
dc.type text
etdms.degree.department University of Alabama. Dept. of English
etdms.degree.discipline English
etdms.degree.grantor The University of Alabama
etdms.degree.level master's
etdms.degree.name M.A.


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