In Vocal Apparitions, Michal Grover-Friedlander describes the origins of our modern communication network:
In 1874 Alexander Bell invented the first model of a phone receiver using an ear membrane taken from a human corpse’s ear. The first telephone receiver was, in fact, a human ear, a machine that transmitted a living human voice by way of a dead human’s ear.
“The words of a dead man,” wrote W. H. Auden, “Are modified in the guts of the living.” The reverse, it would seem, is also true.
Image: Still from “Blue Velvet.”