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Introduction: Toward Postmodern Soundscapes 1. The Player Piano: Musical Programming in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction 2. Radio for Dummies: Alien Invasions, Deja Voodoo, and the Ventriloquy of America 3. Sounding Off: The Postmodern Novel Considers Television Audio 4. Listen to the Muzak: The Social Implications of Background Sound Coda: Background Sound: The Remix
Justin St. Clair is Assistant Professor of English at the University of South Alabama, US.
"Packed with information and insight into a fascinating and emerging field, Sound and Aural Media in Postmodern Literature is a vital and accessible inquiry into often overlooked aspects of the postmodern novel." -Los Angeles Review of Books "Working at the intersection of sound studies, media studies, and literary studies, St. Clair's book makes important contributions to each. By recognizing background sound as a potential communications channel in its own right, St. Clair helpfully pushes beyond the signal-or-noise binary that many sound studies accounts borrow from information theory...St. Clair assembles an impressive body of historical data. But the standout contribution of Sound and Aural Media in Postmodern Literature is the brilliant way it conceptualizes the meeting of literature and audio...[the book] provides an excellent tutorial in how to listen to literature and a compelling argument for why we should tune in." --Sean Keck, Brown University, Journal of American Studies "The strength of this work lies in its connection of postmodern fiction to recent work in sound culture studies, its attention to the historical context of postmodern fiction's engagement with audio technologies, and its detailed close readings of literary representations of background sound...Especially because of this kind of historical evaluation of key technologies and the way that they impact the post-1945 soundscape in connection with impactful literary analysis, Sound and Aural Media is an important intervention in literary criticism of the period that has eschewed consideration of the role that background noise plays in a variety of different novels." --The Year's Work in English Studies