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The Voice as Something MoreEssays toward Materiality$
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Martha Feldman and Judith T. Zeitlin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226656397

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226656427.001.0001

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A Voice That Is Not Mine: Terror and the Mythology of the Technological Voice

A Voice That Is Not Mine: Terror and the Mythology of the Technological Voice

(p.325) 16 A Voice That Is Not Mine: Terror and the Mythology of the Technological Voice
The Voice as Something More

Tom Gunning

University of Chicago Press

The human voice carried through technology (the phonograph, the radio, the cinema) becomes in effect disembodied, separated from the living human being that originally produced it. Such technological mediation redefined not only the embodied nature of the voice but its spatial nature. Radio signals could pass over the airwaves ignoring national borders. Further, this free-floating voice took on uncanny psychological effects, seeming to invade the consciousness of the hearer. The early sound films of Fritz Lang, such as The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933), explored the narrative possibilities of this disembodied technological voice, as did his unfilmed script LB2 in which the voice of Hitler seems to persist on the airwaves after his death.

Keywords:   technology, radio, cinema, Fritz Lang, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, Adolf Hitler, voice, the uncanny

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