An ear for an ear

Trio 2

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.”

3 thoughts on “An ear for an ear

  1. Alan Booker

    I watched Blue Velvet for the first time somewhat recently. Your posted image and associated thoughts from my viewing experience has me asking of your post, where might one start?
    Auden in his indifference to the death of Keats more than anything else likened his passing to cold metaphors and the darkest melancholy imaginable. Certainly matches the image you chose.
    The ear might have provided a method of transmission for Bell but I would suggest that without the wonders of the larynx all would be in vain.
    Regards, Alan

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