The Voice as Something MoreEssays toward Materiality

The Voice as Something MoreEssays toward Materiality

Martha Feldman and Judith T. Zeitlin

Print publication date: 2020

ISBN: 9780226656397

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


The Voice as Something More starts from the paradox that voices nowadays are caught up in fundamentally different realms of discourse, practice, and culture: between sounding and nonsounding, material and nonmaterial, literal and metaphorical. It tackles this paradox by looking at voice as both object of desire and material object. Using Mladen Dolar’s influential A Voice and Nothing More as a starting point, The Voice as Something More reorients Dolar’s psychoanalytic approach around the material dimensions of voices—their physicality and timbre, the fleshiness of their mechanisms, the veils that hide them, and the devices that enhance and distort them. Throughout, the essays put the body back in voice, whether talking about sounding voices, vocal metaphors, vocal owners, and mimics, or myths of voice, gendered voices, the uncanny voice, and vocal technologies. Included is an interlude by film and sound theorist Michel Chion that reflects on the gendering of voice in the audio-logo-visual form of vowels and consonants in words on screen. Ending with a new essay by Dolar that reflects on vocal aesthetics, the echo, and various vocal paradoxes, this collection ranges from Europe and the Americas to East Asia, from the fields of classics and music to film and literature.

Table of Contents


The Clamor of Voices

Martha Feldman and Judith T. Zeitlin

Part I Sound-Producing Voice

1 Speech and/in Song

Steven Rings

Part II Limit Cases

Part III Vocal Owners and Borrowed Voices

Part IV Myth, Wound, and Gap

9 Voice Gap Crack Break

Martha Feldman

Part V Interlude: The Gendered Voice

Part VI Technology, Difference, and the Uncanny


Voices That Matter

Mladen Dolar

End Matter