Acousmatic, Atmospheric, in Transit: The Authority of Anonymous Women's Voices in Contemporary French Literature and Culture

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Abstract

The term acousmatic—a sound whose origin is unseen—refers to the invisible female voices that assist, inform, and alert passengers and that contribute to the particular affective atmosphere of spaces of transit. In France, women sing the SNCF’s vocal jingle and the same woman has served as train announcer since 1981 (Simone Hérault). The atmosphere created by these voices provides a productive space through which to analyze how the female voice permits an effective transgression of male flânerie in contemporary literature and culture. Using a theoretical lens of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies, this paper examines the acousmatic voice of Elle, a fictional train announcer for the SNCF and the protagonist of Céline Curiol’s debut novel, Voix sans issue (2005).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22
JournalEssays in French Literature and Culture
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

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