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Voices That Matter

Voices That Matter

(p.339) Voices That Matter
The Voice as Something More
Mladen Dolar
University of Chicago Press

This chapter reflects on some problems raised in Mladen Dolar’s A Voice and Nothing More (2006) from the author’s position of hindsight, concentrating on three issues. First, the aesthetics of the voice: whereas focusing on voice as an aesthetic object risks turning voice into a fetish, obfuscating its psychoanalytic value as an “object a,” the chapter argues that voice never allows for a simple alternative between fetish or “object,” but rather that the proper object of aesthetics is actually the split between the two. Second, the intersection at which voice exists: the paradoxical object voice can be placed at the intersection of body and language, the somatic and the signifier, but the intersecting areas have no ontological priority or independence; instead voice functions as the agent of their split, blurring their seemingly self-evident dichotomy. Third, the echo: voice always entails an echo, even if inaudible, which testifies to the split nature of the object voice itself, entangling it in a web of repetitions, where it doesn’t coincide with either the original or the echo. Written as an afterword, the chapter also reflects on contributions to the volume.

Keywords:   voice, aesthetics, intersection, echo, fetish, object a, objet petit a

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