Edison’s Teeth – Steven Connor

“When we see something, we do not think of what we see as a separable aspect of it, a ghostly skin shed for our vision. We feel that we see the thing itself, rather than any occasion or extrusion of the thing. But when we hear something, we do not have the same sensation of hearing the thing itself. This is because objects do not have a single, invariant sound, or voice. How something sounds is literally contingent, depending upon what touches or comes into contact with it to generate the sound. We hear, as it were, the event of the thing, not the thing itself.”

~Steven Connor, Edison’s Teeth: Touching Hearing in “Hearing Cultures: Essays on Sound, Listening and Modernity” ed. by Veit Erlmann, 2004.


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