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Genesis ReduxEssays in the History and Philosophy of Artificial Life$
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Jessica Riskin

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226720807

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226720838.001.0001

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Motions and Passions

Motions and Passions

Music-Playing Women Automata and the Culture of Affect in Late Eighteenth-Century Germany

(p.293) 14 Motions and Passions
Genesis Redux

Adelheid Voskuhl

University of Chicago Press

This chapter, which deals with the relations between physical and emotional dynamics, also explores the cultural and social resonances of female musician-automata. It specifically examines the context of two eighteenth-century android automata that both represent women playing a keyboard instrument. Moreover, the chapter presents a few aspects of Jean Paul's work in the context of late eighteenth-century literary Germany and then undertakes a close reading of his satire. Jean Paul took up the theme of piano-playing women in a short, satirical text entitled “Humans Are Machines of the Angels.” The works of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Johann Joachim Quantz, and Jean Paul showed remarkable and diverse juxtapositions and confusions, intentional and unintentional, of human and technical music-making bodies. The automata by Pierre Jaquet-Droz and by David Roentgen and Pierre Kinzing, as well as the early satires by Jean Paul, document the rich and productive technical and textual work on automata.

Keywords:   female musician-automata, android automata, keyboard, Jean Paul, satire, Pierre Jaquet-Droz, David Roentgen, Pierre Kinzing

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