Monatshefte, Vol. 105, No. 2, 2013 a danger in stretching the term too thin, in relying on vague analogies and ahistorical essentializations--a fear that is unfortunately confirmed by several contributions in the collection. One might, for example, be compelled to point out similarities between actual phonographic inscriptions, on the one hand, and onomatopoeia and naturalistic styles of writing in the late nineteenth century, on the other (179188). But without looking closely at how the phonograph was discussed at the time, and in lieu of any direct reference to the device by Naturalist authors, the analogy at best recasts preexisting scholarship in a new terminology unsupported by primary texts. This is what makes Heinz Hiebler's contribution, "Phonogramme der Wiener Moderne," stand out as one of the most interesting essays in the collection (189208). Not only does Hiebler analyze the literary appropriation of phonographic recording as a narrative strategy in early works by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, he juxtaposes these literary `phonograms' with a detailed study of previously ignored phonograph recordings from the same period. In a similar manner, Caroline Pross's fascinating and highly original study of the literary author and radio theorist Arno Schirokauer (347 365) situates media-theoretical speculations about
Monatshefte – University of Wisconsin Press
Published: Jun 9, 2013
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