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  • 1.
    Björkén, Cecilia
    Department of English, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Into the Isle of Self: Nietzschean Patterns and Contrasts in D. H. Lawrence's The Trespasser1996Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis is based on a close reading of Lawrence's novel The Trespasser from a Nietzschean point of view. By adopting this perspective it aims at giving the novel the sense of unity it has so far been alleged to lack. The analysis is preceded by a detailed discussion of the concept of literary influence. Since the purpose of this study is to illuminate what is unique in Lawrence's novel rather than to claim any derivative use of Nietzsche's thought, the focus is on Lawrence's transformative and dynamic way of adopting Nietzschean themes in his novel. The Trespasser is read in its Edwardian context, with particular attention to the response that Nietzsche's philosophy met with 1900-1910. A separate section is devoted to the presentation of him in the Socialist weekly The New Age in 1908-09. The analysis of The Trespasser is conducted along two partly related lines of thought: the Apollonian-Dionysian dichotomy as it is presented by Nietzsche in The Birth of Tragedy, and the process towards a Dionysian awareness that is put forward in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. As is pointed out in chapter three, the Apollonian-Dionysian contrast is reflected chiefly in the characterization, setting, symbolism, and to some degree also in the action of the novel. In chapter four the actual progression of the plot is dealt with in terms of a Zarathustran journey and the light symbolism associated with it. Moreover, some of Lawrence's early poems are discussed in connection with Nietzschean parallels found in The Trespasser, with a view to emphasizing the pervasive influence of Nietzsche's ideas on the young Lawrence.

  • 2.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Contexts and Cultural Boundaries (KK).
    "All you've got in your throat, there": The Pathology of Voice in The Song of the Lark2007In: Program: Willa Cather: A Writer's Worlds: The 11th International Seminar: 24 June – 1 July 2007: Paris & Provence, France, 2007, p. 15-16Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper shows how Cather parallels Thea's chronological development with a discourse on the pathology of voice, hinted at in the first chapter in Dr Archie's treatment of Thea's respiratory organ and then made evident towards the end when Thea's success is rendered in terms of mechanical sound. Thea lacks autonomy, becomes a specimen to be examined through a lens. The keen interest in her throat resembles the 19th century urge for documenting the prostitute's body. If Cather is a female bildungsroman, it leaves us with fragments as from a dissection.

  • 3.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Humanities (HUM), Contexts and Cultural Boundaries (KK).
    '... an intellectual capacity to be wondered at...'2009In: Borders as experience, Halmstad: Halmstad University , 2009, , p. 218p. 64-67Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Humanities (HUM), Contexts and Cultural Boundaries (KK).
    Anatomy Is All: The Pathology of Voice in The Song of the Lark2010In: Willa Cather's The Song of the Lark / [ed] Debra L. Cumberland, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010, p. 21-38Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Contexts and Cultural Boundaries (KK).
    Att spela intellektuell: Kvinnan och musiken med engelska förtecken2007Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Contexts and Cultural Boundaries (KK).
    Dear?, Am I Truly Yours?: Private Correspondence as a Field of Public Meanings2008Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Writing a life necessarily means that the dichotomy public/private is actualised. Even the most private matters are made public as soon as they are put into the public medium of writing. As is a well-known fact, for a woman writing in the 19th century this transition from private to public was particularly problematic. In order to handle it, many female writers adopted a male pseudonym in order to gain acceptance in the public arena. What was more unusual for a woman was to keep up a male persona in private correspondence.

    In 1910 the Australian novelist Henry Handel Richardson (pseudonym for Ethel Lindsay Richardson) was contacted by the French man of letters Paul Solanges whose aim was to translate her first novel Maurice Guest (1908). In the ensuing correspondence spanning almost four years she never dropped the male mask. In the proposed paper I want to demonstrate the complex web of gendered position-taking in the letters they exchanged, which in the end proved that both their lives were entrapped in writing.

  • 7.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS).
    Empathetic Ears: The audiobook, aesthetics and affect2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Judging from sales figures, the popularity of the audiobook is more than a passing trend. While everyone seems to have an opinion on the topic, either one listens avidly or one refuses to abandon the ingrained habit of print, the aesthetic dimension of the listening experience has long been underexplored. Recently, however, producers and researchers have started to show a growing interest in the actual voicing of a text and its aesthetic effect and, consequently, readers are becoming less categorical. Reading with one’s ears is neither inferior nor superior to reading with one’s eyes; it is quite simply a different experience.

    My talk is founded on the assumption that this difference is related to double voicing which can be studied through the theoretical lens of audionarratology. What happens when the metaphorical voice goes physical in the performing act of narration? My focus is on the materiality of voice, what Roland Barthes famously termed its “grain.” A key argument is the recorded voice as a facilitator for an empathetic stance. In my study of the shift to the listening mode with its affective potential, previous research findings on readers’ emotional responses to print texts based on such parameters as story type (descriptive, emotional) and set (sympathetic spectator, identification) will be used as a reference point.

  • 8.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS).
    From Carl Czerny's Miss Cecilia to the Cecilian: Engineering, Aesthetics, and Gendered Piano Instruction2019In: Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, ISSN 1536-6006, Vol. 40, no 2, p. 125-142Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, Carl Czerny’s Letters to a Young Lady on the Art of Playing the Pianoforte (1837) is studied as a machine manual within the cybernetic economy of James Watt’s governor. It is argued that while the young pupil is encouraged to subject herself to a strict discipline of physical deportment at the piano, this activity is in conflict with her own desire to become a self-regulated learner. The key claim made is that although Czerny’s surveillance strategy prevents Miss Cecilia from breaking with the cybernetic ideal and appropriating the pianistic technology for purposes of virtuosic self-expression, she becomes aware of her latent agency and its potentially subversive implications for gendered music making. As such, Czerny’s piano manual addressed to the stereotypical nineteenth-century piano girl anticipates the pianistic discourse associated with the invention of the player piano at the turn of the twentieth century. © The Author(s) 2018.

  • 9.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS).
    Hearing, Seeing, Experiencing: Perspective Taking and Emotional Engagement through the Vocalisation of Jane Eyre, Heart of Darkness and Things fall apart2020In: International Journal of Language Studies, ISSN 2157-4898, E-ISSN 2157-4901, Vol. 14, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Readers’ emotional engagement with fiction is a busy research area situated at the intersection of cognitive, affective and narrative theory. Perspective taking is a feature that cuts across the disciplines since the narrative situation is crucial for communicating experiences of narrators and characters in literary texts. However, what has been explored in less detail is how the vocalisation of print text facilitates an empathetic response due to the expressive impact of the human voice so that narratives may be visualised and experienced in a variety of ways. Within audionarratology, the concept of voice is undergoing a redefinition since it ceases to be textually mediated and can be experienced directly. Audiobook narration is a case in point. In the present study it is argued that empathy is a mediating agency that resides in the vocalisation of text rather than in the text itself. For the purpose of exploring this phenomenon, a pilot study was carried out. Three canonical English texts that had previously been studied in their entirety in print by a group of students were accessed in part in a remediated audio format. The listening experiment showed that the individual voice profile of each of the narrating actors had a significant impact on perspective taking and emotional engagement. 

  • 10.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Humanities (HUM), Contexts and Cultural Boundaries (KK).
    "Listening, listening": Music and Gender in Howards End, Sinister Street and Pilgrimage2002In: Literature and Music / [ed] Michael J. Meyer, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2002, p. 89-115Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 11.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS).
    Losing Oneself in Words: Finding Ourselves in Sound: The Halmstad Poetry Lab2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Being immersed in narratives is often said to be a means of making readers forget the passing of time. As such they may have a beneficial impact on our wellbeing not least due to our capacity to empathise with fictional characters. Poetry, by contrast, forces us to pause. Lyric poetry in particular tends to focus on states and stasis. Thus, while we naturalise texts by narrativising them, we struggle with the “unnaturalness” of poems that force us to pay attention to friction, to see, hear and voice it. This methodology helps us engage in a continuous process of understanding not only ourselves but the experiences of other people and cultures and, paradoxically, to find new narratives while doing so.

     Creative friction is explored in the Poetry Lab (Lyriklabbet), set up jointly by Halmstad city library and Halmstad university in the spring of 2017. Here poetry’s artifice and segmentivity – as opposed to naturalness and flow – is taken as a starting-point for slowing down time and dwelling on emotions and mental states. The main object is to promote a sense of wellbeing through an experimentation with words and the embodiment of voice. Existing poems are studied as well as fresh poems composed by lab members out of material that comes their way in everyday situations. In this presentation, we will be demonstrating how we work in the poetry lab. An important aspect is the use of sound technology as an instrument for challenging the naturalness of the poetic text. By manipulating, rearranging and recontextualising the text through the recorded voice the multidimensionality of the poetic material is foregrounded. The creation of such a sound archive is quite simply a means of staying sound.

  • 12.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Contexts and Cultural Boundaries (KK).
    Make Music but Waste no Energy: The Player Piano, Political Economy and Psychophysiology2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The player piano was an invention which revolutionised music making around the turn of the century 1900. This machine/instrument served to blur the sharp dividing-lines between social classes and between art and entertainment. As a consequence, it became an extremely popular artefact. However, as was reflected in the Edwardian debate on music, the mechanical dimension tainted the perception of virtuosity. As a consequence, the player piano became the material repository of the problematic phenomenon of virtuosity, which long before the invention of musical mechanisation had foregrounded the excess and materiality of showy pianistic technique.

    In my paper I will not confine the discussion of the player piano to the musical sphere but will situate it in a wider material framework. Taking my starting-point in political economy, I will argue that the significance of the player piano may be understood within the context of the theory of labour and value. This approach fits into a general energy conservationist model of mechanical work in which the human motor is to be understood within the frame of thermodynamics. The player piano is thus, I claim, an innovation firmly grounded in an engineering tradition but linked to the medical discourse as a means of combating fatigue, which since the 1870s had been recognized as a growing medical problem.

  • 13. Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Making Music So Simplex: Innovation, Machinery and the Art of Pianism2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The pianoforte as we know it today is an early nineteenth-century phenomenon. Most people are familiar with the traditional performance culture in terms of canonical composers and a virtuoso cult that is in many respects still the same as it was in the days of Franz Liszt. For most people brands like Steinway, Pleyel, Erard and Broadwood are strongly associated with quality, skills and sophistication. These names conjure up images of famous pianists that treat their instruments in a highly artistic manner. To advertise these pianos, the name itself is enough; it is as if the absence of testimonials, praise or illustrations adds to the exclusive character of the product.

    But how many have heard about a Simplex, a Humanola or a Cecilian? And how many have seen the advertisements loaded with engineering facts, overdressed young ladies and praise by famous virtuosi? The three names are examples of the player piano, a revolutionary invention that helped the performer make music by having the score punched into rolls. In fact, very few people know that this machine/instrument almost ousted the pianoforte around the turn of the century 1900. Today the player piano brands are more interesting for cultural historians than for musicians. Studying the marketing of this product, and the brand names in particular, is a means of understanding the mechanism behind the mechanism. Deeply rooted in an engineering tradition of levers, rods and thermodynamics, the player piano was launched as the perfect machine for the busy person who was easily fatigued. These names tell us a great deal about the clash between an exclusive world of art and a democratic society in which everyone had a right to Beethoven and Chopin.

  • 14.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Contexts and Cultural Boundaries (KK).
    "My Home Is My Factory": Lady Pianists and Working-Class Discipline2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The picture of the bourgeois woman seated at the piano is a familiar one. It has been reproduced in countless paintings, photographs and fictional accounts. Piano playing was one of the accomplishments to be displayed by the nineteenth-century young lady in the private sphere. Today we tend to regard this woman as a decorative relic, who was engaged in an unsystematic leisure activity, victimised by lacking career opportunities and far removed from the realities of industrial life in mid-nineteenth-century England. In fact, her pleasant music-making could be considered the antithesis of factory discipline, according to which time was strictly regulated by the demands of making a profit. During long working hours in the factory, the mechanistic principle disciplined the body; the movement of hands and legs, for instance, was subject to surveillance. As late as the early twentieth century, Havelock Ellis described how foremen were encouraged to monitor young women seated at sewing machines in order to prevent sexual excitement as a result of the wrong positioning of their legs. In comparison, solitary music-making in a secluded home appears to be the very epitome of harmony and freedom. However, I argue that the similarities between female factory workers and amateur lady pianists were greater than our construction of the Victorian period may lead us to believe. Factory discipline was implemented in bourgeois homes all over England. The standard piano practise for young women restricted physical freedom to such an extent that, like factory workers, they were fettered to a machine, the pianoforte. This mechanisation of music was established through the musical institution of the conservatory. Due to the emergence of conservatories all over Europe, the virtuoso became the norm for all pianists. The repertoire was standardised as was the recommended hours of practise. Thus, the distinction previously made between a professional pianist and an amateur disappeared. In addition, the more sophisticated the pianoforte became, the more it turned into a machine that had to be controlled. More often than not, though, the woman was controlled by the machine. Hand gymnastics was introduced as one means of preparing the fingers for the machine-like activity of performing almost impossible pianistic feats without wasting any time. Thus engaged in the virtuoso factory at home, the lady pianist would have no time for such potentially subversive activities as day-dreaming. Ironically, not until piano playing was in actual fact mechanised due to the launching of the player piano, were women freed from their musical servitude. In 1901 they had access to 6,000 music rolls, which they could operate at their own liberty without previous practise. What is more, while doing so they were at leisure to make the music accompany their own thoughts and desires.

  • 15.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Humanities (HUM), Contexts and Cultural Boundaries (KK).
    Roll out Beethoven: The Player Piano and Musical Waste in Edwardian England2011In: European Journal of English Studies, ISSN 1382-5577, E-ISSN 1744-4233, Vol. 15, no 1, p. 7-17Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To judge from literature produced in England around the turn of the twentieth century, the Edwardian period was a noisy one. The development of the player piano and the possibility provided by piano rolls for storing more music than previously helped introduce classical music to the masses. However, this process of democratisation resulted in confusion between music and noise. By analysing five Edwardian novels influenced by the player piano discourse, this article will argue that dealing with music in fiction was a means of disposing of musical waste.

  • 16.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Contexts and Cultural Boundaries (KK).
    Running the Script through the Machine: The Player Piano as a Gender-Political Instrument2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Launched at the turn of the twentieth century, the semi-mechanical player piano opened up canonical music to new audiences by sidestepping musical literacy. In contrast to other more or less contemporary technical appliances for recording and reproducing sound, the player piano granted its operator the freedom of individual expression. While the machine produced the notes, the performer was at liberty to modify the tempo and the expression. Due to this manipulation of the original score, it became a gender-political instrument. As such, it had a significant effect on the perception, performance and appreciation of music, and thus implicitly on the fictional treatment of these phenomena.

    The argument in this paper is built on the notion that the composer’s script as encapsulated in the piano roll could be subjected to such a highly individual treatment that almost a new composition emerged in the process. My first fictional example is from E. M. Forster’s posthumously published Maurice (1971) in which the potential for new gender perspectives that the player piano could provide is glimpsed but rejected. It is argued that it was as great an anomaly to break against heteronormativity as to distort sonata form in Edwardian society. My next two examples demonstrate how the player piano facilitated self-expression and individuality for women performers. Both Lucy Honeychurch in Forster’s A Room with a View (1908) and Miriam Henderson in Dorothy Richardson’s Pointed Roofs (1915) challenge Beethoven’s iconic status and musical form by manipulating the male script and exploring a new pianistic behaviour informed by the mechanical discourse. In my concluding discussion, I will illustrate how the player piano was also a tool for a masculinisation of Chopin’s music. Here I will be referring to Henry Handel Richardson’s Maurice Guest (1908) and James Huneker’s Melomaniacs (1902). 

  • 17.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Contexts and Cultural Boundaries (KK).
    Seamless Fiction or Noisy Friction?: Audiobook Narration and the Grain of the Voice2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Seamless Fiction or Noisy Friction?: Audiobook Narration and the Grain of the Voice

    In the past few decades fiction has become increasingly accessible through the audio medium due to the rapid development of sound technology from CD discs to Mp3 players. More recently, the technical sophistication of smartphones has greatly contributed to the creation of a culture of ubiquitous listening. We may allow ourselves to be swayed by spatialised sound reverberating through our bodies or we may decide to indulge in an interiorised experience of headphone listening that seems to make the cranium itself resound. Either way, the digitized voice has a powerful effect on our emotions.

    However, enjoying fiction in this form also causes friction. The voice narrating the text is not infrequently perceived as a noisy machine. Arguably, twenty-first-century sonic friction of this kind is reminiscent of the controversy surrounding the nineteenth-century virtuoso, a figure that embodied the problem of mediation even before sound media existed and was often accused of tainting high art with commodified entertainment. In this paper I will move beyond simplistic value judgments that tend to polarise print text and audiobook format. Instead I wish to close the gap by exposing a behaviour associated with print culture through the agency of the recorded voice of narration. Subvocalisation is one case in point. In the reading of print text, the reader more or less unconsciously activates the vocal chords thus producing a rich and fully embodied experience of the text. Another example is the fairly recent Whispersync technology combining Kindle text, headphone listening and a spatialised sound experience. A main argument in my paper is that literary texts may contain audiophonic traces long before the technology as such exists.

  • 18.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Contexts and Cultural Boundaries (KK).
    So Much More than Music: The Player Piano, Material Culture and Gender Politics2015Other (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Sound technology was a means of giving expression to new patterns that were emerging in Edwardian society. These changes were reified in the early unsophisticated piano roll which was an odd mixture of decorative Victorian arabesques and functional machine code. As the traditional music score was run through the paper-punching machine, the composer’s intentions were often deleted in the process and replaced with rudimentary tempo instructions in stencil. What remained was a script of telegraphic code to be deciphered at will, not least by the many women who had previously felt their subjectivity stifled in gendered music making.

  • 19.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Contexts and Cultural Boundaries (KK).
    The Death of the Piano Girl: Modernity and the Mechanisation of Music in E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View2010In: Redefining Modernism and Postmodernism / [ed] Şebnem Toplu & Hubert Zapf, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010, p. 145-157Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    E. M. Forster's A Room with a View (1908) is a charming novel with a charming heroine. Lucy Honeyworth comes across as a conventional young Edwardian woman whose great musical talent as a performer of canonical piano music redeems her from the epithet "commonplace." Scholars have placed her within the framework of Victorian performance culture to prove that music renders her original and interesting. She acts out the expected role of the entertaining middle-class woman as well as redefines that role through her individual interpretation of the repertoire, in particular Beethoven's opus 111, a sonata demanding great technical skill. In this double role the piano is instrumental for lending originality to the character.

    This picture tallies badly with that of Edwardian critics, who did not seem to think that music had a catalytic function on Lucy but saw her as an original young woman incapable of storing any cultural information, let alone memorising a complicated piano score. These critics may have considered the possibility that Lucy is operating a mechanical piano, a pianola.  I argue, therefore, that the music-making in Forster's novel must be studied at the intersection of the classical romantic discourse and the discourse network of 1900. Lucy is to be understtod against the background of sound technology and applied physiology. The mechanical discourse, and more specifically, the pianola discourse, opens up new possibilities for the female performer to express herself thus wreaking havoc with the heavily gendered traditional music discourse.

  • 20.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Contexts and Cultural Boundaries (KK).
    The Player Piano and the Edwardian Novel2015Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In her study of music making in the Edwardian novel, Cecilia Björkén-Nyberg argues that the invention and development of the player piano had a significant effect on the perception, performance and appreciation of music during the period. In contrast to existing devices for producing music mechanically such as the phonograph and gramophone, the player piano granted its operator freedom of individual expression by permitting the performer to modify the tempo. Because the traditional piano was the undisputed altar of domestic and highly gendered music making, Björkén-Nyberg suggests, the potential for intervention by the mechanical piano’s operator had a subversive effect on traditional notions about the status of the musical work itself and about the people who were variously defined by their relationship to it. She examines works by Dorothy Richardson, E.M. Forster, Henry Handel Richardson, Max Beerbohm and Compton Mackenzie, among others, contending that Edwardian fiction with music as a subject undermined the prevalent antithesis, expressed in contemporary music literature, between a nineteenth-century conception of music as a means of transcendence and the increasing mechanisation of music as represented by the player piano. Her timely survey of the player piano in the context of Edwardian commercial and technical discourse draws on a rich array of archival materials to shed new light on the historically conditioned activity of music making in early twentieth-century fiction.

  • 21.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS).
    Translators, Tricksters and Traps: The Correspondence between Paul Solanges and Henry Handel Richardson as Life-Writing Project2017In: Life Writing, ISSN 1448-4528, E-ISSN 1751-2964, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 83-96Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In 1910, Paul Solanges wrote to Henry Handel Richardson, author of Maurice Guest (1908), offering to translate the novel into French. Solanges had been deeply moved by the music novel recounting the story of a piano student’s attraction to a femme fatale. Throughout the translation process, which went on for over three years and was never completed due to the translator’s death, Richardson and Solanges exchanged some 300 letters. Initially Solanges was unaware that he was corresponding with a woman and although he soon began to suspect that this was the case, he never confronted her with his suspicion. Instead, the correspondents were in implicit agreement that they were setting traps for each other, a feature that has been given some scholarly attention in the study of Richardson’s creation of her male persona. However, in the present article, the ‘story of traps’ is approached primarily from the point of view of Solanges’s life-writing project. It is claimed that due to its liminal character, the correspondence sits neatly within the trickster genre. The argument is built on Jacques Derrida’s notion of the archive as a phenomenon to be understood from a point in the future. As such, the existence today of the meticulously edited correspondence testifies to the triumphant outcome of Solanges’s painful suffering from archive fever. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

  • 22.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS).
    Vocal Woolf: The audiobook as a technology of health2016In: SoundEffects, ISSN 1904-500X, E-ISSN 1904-500X, Vol. 6, no 1, p. 69-87Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article explores the therapeutic potential of the performing audiobook voice. It takes its point of departure in the view that the audiobook negotiates the semantics of a text and its vocal manifestation. A key idea is that the performing voice is an affordance for creating a salutogenic sense of coherence in the listener. The argument is theoretically situated within the context of the psychology and sociology of music with affect regulation and ‘health-musicking’ as significant elements. The British actress Juliet Stevenson’s reading of Virginia Woolf’s second novel Night and Day (1919) will be approached as a case of ‘health-musicking’ and an event-based appreciation of sonic culture. This discussion will focus on the listeners’ appropriation of the sound object for their own empowering purposes.

  • 23.
    Björkén-Nyberg, Cecilia
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS).
    Vocalising motherhood: The metaphorical conceptualisation of voice in listener responses to The girl on the train by Paula Hawkins2018In: International Journal of Language Studies, ISSN 2157-4898, E-ISSN 2157-4901, Vol. 12, no 4, p. 1-28Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this article is to conceptualise voice as vocalisation. Taking a multidisciplinary approach to the concept of voice, the study is informed by theoretical considerations pertaining to audionarratology, voice semiotics, and cognitive science. It is argued that the physical articulation of voice reinforces metaphorical implications. Through the illustrative example of the audiobook version of the bestselling thriller The girl on the train (2015) by Paula Hawkins, the metaphorical overtones of voice quality are discussed. In addition, the vocal impact on mental imagery, daydreaming, and phenomenal consciousness is analysed. Based on data collected from the Audible website for listener reviews, it is concluded that voice performance has an impact on the way in which both plot and discursive features are perceived. Importantly, the study shows that the gendered theme of motherhood, foregrounded in Hawkins’s novel, takes on new dimensions when the text is vocalised.

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