Sounding Bodies: Acoustical Science and Musical Erotics in Victorian Literature (SUNY Series) (Hardcover)

Sounding Bodies: Acoustical Science and Musical Erotics in Victorian Literature (SUNY Series) By Shannon Draucker Cover Image

Sounding Bodies: Acoustical Science and Musical Erotics in Victorian Literature (SUNY Series) (Hardcover)

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Can the concert hall be as erotic as the bedroom? Many Victorian writers believed so. In the mid-nineteenth century, acoustical scientists such as Hermann von Helmholtz and John Tyndall described music as a set of physical vibrations that tickled the ear, excited the nerves, and precipitated muscular convulsions. In turn, writers--from canonical figures such as George Eliot and Thomas Hardy, to New Women novelists like Sarah Grand and Bertha Thomas, to anonymous authors of underground pornography--depicted bodily sensations and experiences in unusually explicit ways. These writers used scenes of music listening and performance to intervene in urgent conversations about gender and sexuality and explore issues of agency, pleasure, violence, desire, and kinship. Sounding Bodies shows how both classical music and Victorian literature, while often considered bastions of conservatism and repression, represented powerful sites for feminist and queer politics.
Shannon Draucker is Assistant Professor of English at Siena College.
Product Details ISBN: 9781438498416
ISBN-10: 1438498411
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication Date: July 1st, 2024
Pages: 294
Language: English
Series: SUNY Series