When Only the Ears Are Awake

Robert G Ryder

in Germany in the Loud Twentieth Century

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199759392
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918911 | DOI:
When Only the Ears Are Awake

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The first section of this chapter explores a theory of the acoustical unconscious and how it can be applied to listening to radio. The notion of an acoustical unconscious is largely derived from Walter Benjamin’s reflections on radio and the optical unconscious. In the second part of the chapter, the author argues that the motif of ambiguity in Günter Eich’s famous radio play, Dreams  (1951), which decenters the listeners’ own sense of self and what is real, taps into an acoustical unconscious that forces listeners to awaken to and contend with the collective history of which they are a part.

Keywords: Eich; acoustical unconscious; radio; radio play; Dreams; Walter Benjamin; collective history

Chapter.  7588 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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