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Book Cover
Author Kramer, Lawrence, 1946- author

Title The hum of the world : a philosophy of listening / Lawrence Kramer
Published Oakland, California : University of California Press, [2018]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (vii, 244 pages)
Contents Prelude -- Sound and knowledge -- The audiable: an introduction -- Some leitmotifs -- The standard of vision -- A philosophy of listening? -- Constructive description -- Sight, sound, and language -- The sound of words -- Seeing, saying, and hearing -- The audiable: variations on a theme -- Music in the air -- "No sound without music" -- Language and the human -- Lord Bacon's echoes -- Ripple effects: distant voices -- The infinite broadcast -- Immanence -- Reading transfigured: St. Augustine -- To the life: the image -- Moving pictures -- Modern times: the cartoon -- The sound of meaning -- Music and the audiable: a suite in three movements -- Plato's singing school -- Musical synesthesia -- The music of language -- The soundscape -- Song -- Noise and silence -- Fish, flesh, or fowl -- Sensory hybrids -- "Waiting to be the music" -- Circle songs -- Forty-part motets -- The ether -- Elemental media -- Elemental fluids -- Writing the soundscape -- Haunting melodies -- The lifelike. The undead -- Beyond words? -- The audiable and the audible -- Into silence -- Enchantments of the name -- The inaudible -- On saying "I am" -- The shriek -- Metal -- Here comes that song again -- The mirror of silence -- Rhythmic hearing -- Media all the way down -- The auditory window -- Cacophony: dispossession (Beckett) -- Euphony: repossession (Beckett) -- Worldly dissonance -- Sounds of battle: the Civil War -- Sounds of battle: World War One -- Ulysses in Auschwitz -- Sounding bodies -- Pandemonium? -- Songs of entropy -- By hand -- Past and present -- Consciousness
Summary The Hum of the World is an invitation to contemplate what would happen if we heard the world as attentively as we see it. Balancing big ideas with playful wit and lyrical prose, this imaginative volume identifies the role of sound in Western experience as the primary medium in which the presence and persistence of life acquire tangible form. The positive experience of aliveness is not merely in accord with sound, but inaccessible, even inconceivable, without it. Lawrence Kramer's poetic book roves freely over music, media, language, philosophy, and science from the ancient world to the present
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Description based on online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on March 22, 2019)
Subject Language and languages -- Philosophy.
Music -- Philosophy and aesthetics.
Sounds -- Philosophy.
Sounds -- Social aspects.
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2019000067
ISBN 0520972724 (electronic book)
9780520972728 (electronic book)
(hardcover) (alkaline paper)
Other Titles Philosophy of listening