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Dumbstruck – A Cultural History of Ventriloquism - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Dumbstruck: A Cultural History of Ventriloquism

Steven Connor


Why can none of us hear our own recorded voice without wincing? Why is the telephone still full of such spookiness and erotic possibility? Why does the metaphor of ventriloquism, the art of ‘seeming to speak where one is not’, speak so resonantly to our contemporary technological condition? These are the kind of questions which impel this inquisitive history of ventriloquism and the disembodied voice. This book tracks the subject from its first recorded beginnings in ancient Israel and Greece, through the fulminations of early Christian writers against the unholy (and, they believed, obscenely ... More

Keywords: recorded voices, ventriloquism, disembodied voices, polyphony, vocalic uncanny, Israel, Greece, pagan divination, Enlightenment, telephone

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2000 Print ISBN-13: 9780198184331
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198184331.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Steven Connor, author
Birkbeck College, University of London