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Modernist SoundscapesAuditory Technology and the Novel$
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Angela Frattarola

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056074

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056074.001.0001

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Turning Up the Volume of Inner Speech

Turning Up the Volume of Inner Speech

Headphones and James Joyce’s Interior Monologue

(p.94) 4 Turning Up the Volume of Inner Speech
Modernist Soundscapes

Angela Frattarola

University Press of Florida

Chapter 4 questions how the common turn-of-the-century practice of listening to the telephone, phonograph, and radio through headphones may have aided modernists in turning up the volume and recording interior monologue—one’s “inner speech” that sounds out within the auditory imagination. Using Jonathan Sterne’s historical study of how headphones created a “private acoustic space,” this chapter postulates that listening to voices and music through headphones created a new sense of a personal and aesthetically objectified space within one’s head. Just as headphones brought unfamiliar sounds and voices into one’s private headspace, James Joyce represents the stream of consciousness as a collage of voices and sounds from literature, religion, popular culture, and the soundscape. In Ulysses (1922), Joyce creates an auditory cosmopolitanism, by allowing the languages and sounds of the surrounding world to penetrate and influence the interior monologues of his characters.

Keywords:   Phonograph, Radio, Telephone, Stream of consciousness, Cosmopolitanism, Jonathan Sterne, Ulysses

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