Music and Torture: The Stigmata of Sound and Sense

Peter Szendy

in Speaking about Torture

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242245
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823242283 | DOI:
Music and Torture: The Stigmata of Sound and Sense

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While there are now numerous accounts of the use of music as a means of torture, this chapter sets recent practices in the context of a larger history of sonorous violence. After having sketched the general outline of such a reflection, it pursues a detailed reading of Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange and proposes the following hypothesis: violence begins when one tries to rivet, to nail, music to a meaning. It finds useful Lacan's concept of "button ties" (points de capiton) as a way of characterizing the sonorous stigmata of the wounded subject.

Keywords: Music; Stigmata; Guantánamo Bay Prison Camp; Iraq; Cesare Beccaria; Stanley Kubrick; A Clockwork Orange; Ludwig von Beethoven; Auschwitz; Points de capiton

Chapter.  7024 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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