Advertisement

Apocalyptic Body Song: The Book of Joan

  • Heidi Hart
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Music and Literature book series (PASTMULI)

Abstract

Throughout Lidia Yuknavitch’s novel The Book of Joan, music haunts the narrator. Like the Golden Record project, this is a love story, not only between the narrator Christine and a futuristic Joan of Arc, but also between this human heroine and the Earth she has left behind. As readers finds out more about what led survivors to escape their dead planet, they also find that music is not mere accompaniment to the story: it is Joan’s weapon, her cluster-bomb ignited by sound. This music forces readers not only to face future geo-catastrophe but also to imagine their own potential violence in times of drought, war, epidemic, and dictatorship. Its sounding of the disaster echoes Maurice Blanchot’s words on voicing trauma through erasure, or destruction itself.

Keywords

Music Science fiction Intermediality Violence Gender 

References

  1. Alaimo, Stacy. Exposed: Environmental Politics & Pleasures in Posthuman Times. University of Minnesota Press, 2016.Google Scholar
  2. Blanchot, Maurice. The Writing of the Disaster. Trans. Ann Smock. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  3. Cixous, Hélène. Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing. Trans. Sarah Cornell and Susan Sellers. New York: Columbia University Press, 1993.Google Scholar
  4. Goldstein, Jessica M. “2017 Was a Year of Female Rage.” Think Progress, December 11, 2017. https://thinkprogress.org/2017-was-a-year-of-female-rage-8551d0867e19/.
  5. Grady, Constance. “2017 Was the Year of Women’s Anger, Onscreen and Off.” Vox, December 21, 2017. https://www.vox.com/2017-in-review/2017/12/21/16776708/2017-womens-anger-womens-march-reckoning-handmaids-tale-alias-grace-big-little-lies-three-billboards.
  6. Greenwell, Garth. “The Wild, Remarkable Sex Scenes of Lidia Yuknavitch.” The New Yorker, August 25, 2015. https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-wild-remarkable-sex-scenes-of-lidia-yuknavitch.
  7. Hooks, Bell. Killing Rage: Ending Racism. New York: Henry Holt, 1995.Google Scholar
  8. Krämer, Sybille. “Sprache—Stimme—Schrift: Sieben Gedanken über Performativität als Medialität.” In Performanz. Zwischen Sprachphilosophie und Kulturwissenschaften, ed. Uwe Wirth, 323–346. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2002.Google Scholar
  9. Petermann, Emily. The Musical Novel. Rochester: Camden House, 2014.Google Scholar
  10. Rajewsky, Irina. Intermedialität. Tübingen: Francke, 2002.Google Scholar
  11. Rukeyser, Muriel. “Easter Eve 1945.” In The Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser, eds. Janet E. Kaufman and Anne F. Herzog. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005.Google Scholar
  12. Schirrmacher, Beate. “Musical Performance and Textual Performativity in Elfriede Jelinek’s The Piano Teacher.” In Danish Musicology Online, Special Edition, 2016, 85–99.Google Scholar
  13. Wolf, Werner. The Musicalization of Fiction: A Study in the Theory and History of Intermediality. Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi, 1999.Google Scholar
  14. Woolf, Virginia. “Professions for Women.” In Collected Essays, Vol. 2. ed. Leonard Woolf, 284–289. London: Hogarth Press, 1966.Google Scholar
  15. Yuknavitch, Lidia. The Book of Joan. New York: HarperCollins, 2017.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heidi Hart
    • 1
  1. 1.Utah State UniversityLoganUSA

Personalised recommendations