Eardrums is the first book-length study to explore the relationship between acoustical modernity and German modernism, charting a literary and cultural history written in and around the eardrum. The result is not only a new way of understanding the sonic impulses behind key literary texts from the period. It also outlines an entirely new approach to the study of literature as as the interaction of text and sonic practice, voice and noise, which will be of interest to scholars across literary studies, media theory, sound studies, and the history of science.
"Eardrums is an important, highly original book... Whitney’s study makes a compelling case for reading German literary history in conjunction with the history of modern sound technology as it permeates the urban environment and industrial warfare. This approach produces fresh, absolutely exciting readings of both well-known and less familiar works and authors, which allows for tracing an alternate, most persuasive history of the transition from Naturalism to high modernism within the German tradition." —Patrizia McBride, author of The Chatter of the Visible: Montage and Narrative in Weimar Germany
"From the poetic rhythms of the late 19th century to the sounds of the present day, this unique book encourages readers to view modern German culture from a cacophonous point of view. Valuable notes and apparatus." —E. G. Wickersham, emerita, Rosemont College, CHOICE (Reprinted with permission from CHOICE http://www.choicereviews.org, copyright by the American Library Association.)