Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-9th95 Total loading time: 0.477 Render date: 2022-12-01T08:21:41.176Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

12 - Between Sound and Silence: The Inaudible and the Unsayable in the History of the First World War

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 June 2019

Amy Jo Murray
Affiliation:
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Kevin Durrheim
Affiliation:
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Get access

Summary

In historical study, the inaudible is the unknowable. Even in the sphere of twentieth-century history, vast tracts of auditory experience – especially in wartime – are completely undocumented. The upshot of this truth is that only with a full sense of the limitations both of our auditory archives and of what can be represented honestly can we construct representations of war that avoid distortion or sanitization. This is particularly true in museum exhibitions on war, where it is now fashionable to use false sound to offer the visitor what is termed "total immersion in history." This approach is a dead end. Instead, we need to leave unsaid that which is false or invented or commercially effective and stage-managed in our museums and other public representations of war. Fake noise is fake history. This chapter uses the experience of the Historial de la Grande Guerre, a museum of the Great War in France, to demonstrate that silence is an important signifier of what we do not know and cannot know about the past. Only when we realize this simple truth can museum designers and curators serve the very large population of people who seek a deeper understanding of war in historical museums around the world.

Type
Chapter
Information
Qualitative Studies of Silence
The Unsaid as Social Action
, pp. 223 - 235
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Austin, J. L. (1962). How to do things with words: The William James Lectures delivered at Harvard University in 1955. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Barth, K. (Ed.). (1968). Epistle to the Romans. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Fuller, J. C. (1990). Popular entertainment and troop morale in the British and Dominion armies. Oxford: Berg Books.Google Scholar
Gioia, T. (1997). The history of jazz. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Grant, P., & Hanna, E. (2014). Music and remembrance: Britain and the First World War. In Ziino, B. (Ed.), Remembering the Great War (pp. 110126). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Hanheide, S., & Helms, D. (Eds.). (2013). Musik bezieht Stellung. In Funktionalisierungen der musik im Ersten Weltkrieg. Osnabruck: Universitätsverlag Osnabruck.Google Scholar
Kennedy, K. (2014). A music of grief: Classical music and the First World War. International Affairs, 90(2), 379395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lehto-Hoogendorn, M. (2000). The persistence of a painful past: The Finnish Civil War of 1918. The Masaryk Journal, 3(1), 8394.Google Scholar
Martland, P. (2013). Recording history: The British record industry 1881–1931. Landham, MD: Scarecrow.Google Scholar
Stogner, M. B. (2011). The immersive cultural museum experience – creating context and story with new media technology. The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum iii, 3(3), 117130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Winter, J. M. (1995). Sites of memory, sites of mourning: The Great War in European cultural history (chap. 3). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Winter, J. M. (2000). Public history and the ‘Historial’ project 1986–1998. In Blowen, S., Demossier, M., & Picard, J. (Eds.), Recollections of France: Memories, identities and heritage in contemporary France (pp. 5267). Oxford: Berghahn Books.Google Scholar
Winter, J. M. (2010). Thinking about silence. In Ben Zeev, E., Ginio, R., & Winter, J. M. (Eds.), Shadows of war: A social history of silence in the twentieth century (pp. 130). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Winter, J. M. (2017). War beyond words: Languages of remembrance from the Great War to the present (esp. chap. 7). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×