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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter situates the history of listening in the context of recent work in the histories of reading, seeing, and feeling. Using William Reddy’s The Navigation of Feeling (2001), it considers changes in practices—from the absence of silent reading in antiquity and the early Middle Ages, to public reading in the early modern period, to modern silent reading—and, using depictions of museum-goers, sketches a history of experience in the visual arts. By widening the field from listening, this chapter aims both to fill out and to integrate the modern history of experience. It also suggests ways of understanding how transformations in perception by one of our human senses affects those in another and why historic modes of perception and description will not likely return.

Keywords: Charles Baudelaire, John Cage, historicity of listening, history of emotions, listening and reading, listening and seeing, William Reddy

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