Friday, September 28, 2012

Voice - Introduction quotes (Sept 25th, Bergen)

Voice - Introduction quotes (Sept 25th, Bergen)

Walter Ong, The Barbarian Within (MacMillan)
Adriana Cavarero, For More Than One Voice (Stanford)
Steven Connor, Dumbstruck: A History of Ventriloquism (Oxford)
Mladen Dolar, A Voice and Nothing More (MIT Press)


Walter Ong: Question of Interiority
“To consider the work of literature in its primary oral and aural existence, we must enter more profoundly into this world of sound as such, the I-thou world where, through the mysterious interior resonance which sound best of all provides, persons commune with persons, reaching one another’s interiors in a way in which one can never reach the interior of an object.” (p. 46)

"All verbalization, including all literature, is radically a cry, a sound emitted from the interior of a person..." (p. 47)

“The cry which strikes our ear, even the animal cry, is consequently a sign of an interior condition, indeed of that special interior focus or pitch of being which we call life, an invasion of all the atmosphere which surrounds a being by that being’s interior state...” (p. 47)

Adriana Cavarero: Uniqueness
"The voice is sound, not speech...the act of speaking is relational: what it communicates first and foremost, beyond the specific content that words communicate, is the acoustic, empirical, material relationality of singular voices." (p.12-13)

Steven Connor:
"My voice defines me because it draws me into coincidence with myself, accomplishes me in a way which goes beyond mere belonging, association, or instrumental use. And yet my voice is also most essentially itself and my own in the ways in which it parts or passes from me. Nothing else about me defines me so intimately as my voice, precisely because there is no other feature of my self whose nature it is thus to move from me to the world, and to move me into the world. If my voice is mine because it comes from me, it can only be known as mine because it also goes from me. My voice is, literally, my way of taking leave of my senses. What I say goes." (p. 7)

Connor: / from The Strain of the Voice
"For voice is not simply an emission of the body; it is also the imaginary production of a secondary body, a body double: a ‘voice-body’... voice is produced through a process that necessarily creates stress, as air is directed under pressure through the larynx and then out through the mouth. As it moves it is modified, bent, detained, accelerated... The breath is drawn as a bow is drawn, by applying a force against the resistance of the diaphragm and intracortal muscles. The power of the voice is the release of the kinetic energy stored in these muscles as they return to their resting positions. But the voice's energy is not simply given out. For there to be voice, there must be a secondary resistance, the impedance or thwarting of this outflow. Where the breath simply escapes, there can be no voice."

Mladen Dolar
“Now the voice as the object, the paradoxical creature that we are after, is also a break. Of course, it has an inherent link to presence, to what there is, to the point of endorsing the very notion of presence, yet at the same time, as we have seen, it presents a break, it is not to be simply counted among existing things, its topology dislocates it in relation to presence. And – it is precisely the voice that holds bodies and language together.” (p. 2)

 “The voice separated from its body evokes the voice of the dead.” (p. 4)

“The real problem with the acousmatic voice is: can we actually ever pin it down to a source?” (p. 5)

“Every emission of the voice is by its very essence ventriloquism.” (p. 7)

“in every utterance there is on the one hand the dimension of signification, which in the last instance concurs with the dimension of desire…On the other hand, there is the dimension of the drive which does not follow the signifying logic but rather turns around the object, the object voice, as something evasive and not conducive to signification” (p. 8)

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