To hear with eyes
in The sense of early modern writing
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In William Shakespeare's works, the ear is treated with an ambivalence that cannot be simply idiomatic. The link between a form of self-awareness and the voice makes hearing an intimate sense. Jacques Derrida suggested that: 'Hearing oneself speak is not the inwardness of an inside that is closed in upon itself; it is the irreducible openness in the inside; it is the eye and the world within speech.' Derrida was attempting to account for the familiar association of speech with a sense of intimacy and interiority, and for the privilege of this sense over others within a philosophical tradition which culminates in phenomenology. Poetic invention is linked to notions of organic and sexual productivity but also to incision or penetration, marking a conventional notion of the paternal, disseminatory writer.

The sense of early modern writing

Rhetoric, poetics, aesthetics


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