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Speaking about Torture$
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Julie A. Carlson and Elisabeth Weber

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823242245

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823242245.001.0001

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Music and Torture: The Stigmata of Sound and Sense

Music and Torture: The Stigmata of Sound and Sense

(p.189) Chapter 12 Music and Torture: The Stigmata of Sound and Sense
Speaking about Torture

Peter Szendy

Fordham University Press

While there are now numerous accounts of the use of music as a means of torture, this chapter sets recent practices in the context of a larger history of sonorous violence. After having sketched the general outline of such a reflection, it pursues a detailed reading of Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange and proposes the following hypothesis: violence begins when one tries to rivet, to nail, music to a meaning. It finds useful Lacan's concept of "button ties" (points de capiton) as a way of characterizing the sonorous stigmata of the wounded subject.

Keywords:   Music, Stigmata, Guantánamo Bay Prison Camp, Iraq, Cesare Beccaria, Stanley Kubrick, A Clockwork Orange, Ludwig von Beethoven, Auschwitz, Points de capiton

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