Soundscape in Early French Literature

Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and Renaissance (ASMAR), Vol. 17

Soundscape in Early French Literature

By Brigitte Cazelles
2006 | 186 + ii pp. | 978-0-86698-339-6 | Hardcover 6 x 9 in
MRTS 295 | $42 | €45

Soundscape in Early French Literature is a study of how sound is employed in a variety of Latin and early French works. In five chapters, titled to reflect the author’s attention to and interest in sound (“The Big Bang,” “The Blares of Power,” “The White Noise of Perfection,” “Parasitic Homophones,” and “Sonus Mortis”), plus a substantial introduction (“Noise as Gloss”) and conclusion (“The Ambivalence of Noise”), Cazelles shows that sound plays a much more crucial role in literature than we may have realized and that noise has a textuality. She adopts a methodology that combines the technique of sensorial anthropology with that of textual analysis and focuses on the culture of literate orality in premodern Europe as she analyzes a variety of textually-transcribed sounds in an attempt to disclose their significance in enriching our understanding of literature and, in parallel, in an attempt to assess the value of literature in enriching our understanding of aural and oral phenomena.