James Steintrager

2:30PM James Steintrager, UC Irvine

“The Eldritch Phonograph: Weird Reading, Acousmatic Fantasy, and the Old New Media”

The impact of so-called acousmatic technologies of sound reproduction – those that isolate listening from the visual presence of sonic sources – such as telephony, phonography, and radio on music and film has received increasing scholarly attention. But what of reading, almost inevitably imagined as silent? I will be examining how the pulp genre of “weird fiction” was enmeshed with the noises, buzzes, and hums of the new media, circa 1930. My focus will be on H.P. Lovecraft’s story “The Whisperer in Darkness.”

Auditors may peruse the Lovecraft story here.