All Ears: The Aesthetics of Espionage

All Ears: The Aesthetics of Espionage

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Overview

All Ears: The Aesthetics of Espionage by Peter Szendy

The world of international politics has recently been rocked by a seemingly endless series of scandals involving auditory surveillance: the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping is merely the most sensational example of what appears to be a universal practice today. What is the source of this generalized principle of eavesdropping?

All Ears: The Aesthetics of Espionage traces the long history of moles from the Bible, through Jeremy Bentham’s “panacoustic” project, all the way to the intelligence-gathering network called “Echelon.” Together with this archeology of auditory surveillance, Szendy offers an engaging account of spycraft’s representations in literature (Sophocles, Shakespeare, Joyce, Kafka, Borges), opera (Monteverdi, Mozart, Berg), and film (Lang, Hitchcock, Coppola, De Palma).

Following in the footsteps of Orpheus, the book proposes a new concept of “overhearing” that connects the act of spying to an excessive intensification of listening. At the heart of listening Szendy locates the ear of the Other that manifests itself as the originary division of a “split-hearing” that turns the drive for mastery and surveillance into the death drive.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780823273966
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Publication date: 12/01/2016
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Peter Szendy is David Herlihy Professor of Humanities and Comparative Literature at Brown University and musicological advisor for the concert programs at the Paris Philharmonie. His books include Of Stigmatology: Punctuation as Experience ; All Ears: The Aesthetics of Espionage ; Apocalypse-Cinema: 2012 and Other Ends of the World ; Kant in the Land of Extraterrestrials ; Hits: Philosophy in the Jukebox ; and Listen: A History of Our Ears.

Roland Végső is Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor of English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Table of Contents

1. Entrance: The Spies of Jericho

2. Discipline and Listen
Before the Wiretap
Overhearing and Diaphony,
A Small History of Big Ears (Toward the Panacousticon)
Mastery and Metrics in Figaro
The Ages of Fear
Telelistening and Telesurveillance
A Secret Conversation

3. Underground Passage: The Mole in Its Burrow

4. In the Footsteps of Orpheus
The Trackers, with Hidden Noise
The Mortal Ear, or Orpheus Turns Around
On the Phone: Papageno at Mabuse's
The Phantom of the Opera
Wozzeck at the Moment of His Death
Adorno, the Informer

5. Exit: J.D.'s Dream

Notes

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