Into the sounds of war: imagination, media, and experience

Bull, Michael (2019) Into the sounds of war: imagination, media, and experience. In: Grimshaw-Aagaard, Mark, Walther-Hansen, Mads and Knakkergaard, Martin (eds.) The Oxford handbook of sound and imagination. Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 175-202. ISBN 9780190460167

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“No one ever left a cinema with shell-shock” is an apt summary of Michael Bull’s study of the relationship between fighting troops and civilians; between those experiencing sonic warfare and those consuming an imagining of the sounds of war. Bull builds his chapter around evidence and artifacts from World War I—firsthand testimony of those experiencing the sounds of war; attempts to recreate the sound of industrial warfare through poetry, novels, and film; the propaganda of popular song and theatrical revue; and early attempts to record warfare. Bull establishes a trope of sonic realism, and, throughout, shows us that the imagination of that realism on the home front was merely a simulacrum of the everyday, sonic realism experienced by those on the Front; there remains a distance between testimony and mediated reception no less for the sounds of war than for its horrors.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: World War I, sonic warfare, sonic realism, propaganda, cinema, song, novels, poetry
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Music
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Depositing User: Sarah Maddox
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2019 12:35
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2021 01:00

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