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Auden portrays the coexistence of the nature and the culture in the same space.

Through the different transportations, the viewers catch the pieces of images which are enlarged to replace the wholeness. These replacements make the entirety fragmented.

2.4 Conclusion

Through the individual’s perspectives, space is not neutral. It can be public and private, realistic and fantastic, or political and ordinary. The totalitarianism dominates space by the visible constructions and attempts to manipulate the institutions to keep the society ordered. For instance, the city is an agglomeration that includes varieties such as the poor, the rich, the criminal, the detective, and so on. In order to keep the city ordered, the government builds several constructions to rule and keeps space under monitoring. The ordinary man can subvert the authority in his everyday life, such as walking and taking transportations. Walking, first of all, breaks the boundary of the designed routes on the map. Walkers choose their ways: they turn right, turn left, go straight, or get lost when they are walking. Moreover, walking makes space

dynamic. Space is no longer a flat sketch for the spatial planner; it contains

movements. Every walking step is a rebellion since walking creates a possibility to resist the sameness. Walking invents the differences.

The differences derive from every individual’s interpretations. Each individual connects places/ spaces together via the spectacles. Albeit the four characters stay in the same space, they see space in their own ways. The objects they see will be enlarged to replace the wholeness, that is, the fragmentations symbolize the entirety.

As a result, the fragmentations make the differences possible within the same circumstance.

Furthermore, due to the technological invention, the spatial spectacles increase.

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The transportations offer the four characters the different spatial experiences. The varieties subvert the established relative positions on the earth, the sky, and the sea.

Through seeing, the four characters blur the division of being here and over-there in the paradoxical circumstance, that is, the mobility within the immobility. The vague distance between here and there makes the four protagonists both inside and outside as the radio announces the news over-there in the present bar at All Soul Night.

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Chapter Three

Paradoxical Parallel in Auditory Space 3.1 Introduction

In The Age of Anxiety, Malin, Quant, Rosetta, and Emble represent four faculties in Jung’s psychoanalysis, and are equal to four voices. Nevertheless, there is another voice that inserts among these people, that is, a machinery voice, the radio. I suppose that the technology can be seen as a minor character in this poem. Although it does not interact with the characters physically, it impacts on the present moment and changes the atmosphere. The voice of the radio is different from other characters’

voices. It is a designed code and edited by an unknown force. Sensation is widely portrayed in Auden’s work. In the introduction of The Age of Anxiety, Jacobs has mentioned that many critics “have lauded Auden for his acuity in naming the era in which we live” (xii). Albeit the machinery voice is invisible, it influences space more or less.

The break of the radio news is the first turning point that the four strangers start to communicate with each other. When the radio broadcasts the war news, it attracts all the listeners’ attention and it opens the discussion about the war. Fuller points out that “[t]he war itself plays an important part in the poem, through the radio

announcements which continually break in upon the characters’ explored

consciousnesses to remind them of the violence and frivolity of the material world”

(188). The radio connects the exterior with the interior space. Fuller considers the radio as a tool for announcement and for providing the information outside the bar.

The announcement changes the atmosphere of present space since what happens faraway distance turns out to be more realistic than the present moment. Therefore, the news obfuscates the sense of distance, that is, the war is both there and here. The

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news brings about the displacement, the vagueness, and the ambiguity.

Most of the critics will mention the radio briefly and see it as a reminder. In Arthur Kirsch’s “‘Our Grief is Not Greek’ Auden’s Poems on War,” he also indicates that “[t]o the impersonal and absurd jangle of broadcast ‘news’ . . . each of the

characters responds by thinking of the actual human horrors of war” (47). The radio is merely as a reminder for the four characters and this new is “impersonal” and “absurd jangle” in the poem.

Susannah Young-ah-Gottlieb develops more aspects about the radio in her article,

“Time Tormented,” in Regions of Sorrow. She describes that “the radio’s speech comes from afar, is unidirectional insofar as it allows for no exchange of views, and pretends to do without rhetoric” (77). The source of the broadcast cannot be

distinguished explicitly and the radio expects no responses. The information is composed by the several words and phrases like the slogans and “seeks to be purely descriptive” (77). Gottlieb suggests that there is no distinction between the description and the prescription in the poem. The radio not only announces the news but also broadcasts an advertisement about an unknown product which can eradicate the bad smell. Gottlieb draws the parallel between the advertisement and the religion: “the relation to evangelism is even closer insofar as the word of advertising, like that of the Gospels, has the magical power to create the reality of which it speaks” (78). The advertisement promises a new utopia, which excludes the abnormal objects such as the bad smell. Gottlieb also indicates that “[w]ithin the economy of The Age of

Anxiety, the elimination of smell is not so different from the elimination of all spheres

in which consent, dissent, opinions, and choices are possible” (80). The aims of the product are to diminish the discrepancy and to construct an ordered society.

Furthermore, Gottlieb points out that the “advertising is still able to create

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anxiety it describes” and “this anxiety is the advertising itself” (78). Advertisement for Auden is a “black magic” that manipulates “enchantment for the purposes of domination” (“Words and the Word” 314). The advertisement turns out to be one of the strategies to conquer and manipulate space. Gottlieb pinpoints Auden’s theory about propaganda, which is a black magic that does not require any responses. The enchantment evokes the sense of anxiety. For Auden, this black magic recites continually and it is only a verbal noise, “a mere sound,” and without any meanings (“Words and the Word” 314). The purposes of the meaningless verbal noises are to occupy space and to remind the listener of the invisible existence in the present

absence. The meaningless noise exists in the present moment but its invisibility makes it absent simultaneously. The noises exist in the present moment and are recited continuously to remind the listeners of the authority somewhere else. Therefore, the repetition of the invisible existence arouses the sense of anxiety.

The purpose of the propaganda matters to Auden. He expounds that “[m]ost commercial advertising . . . is comparatively harmless. . .” but “[p]olitical and religious propaganda are another matter, for politics and religion are spheres where personal choices is essential” (“Words and the Word” 314). However, the reason why the “personal choices” matter is not discussed in Gottlieb’s article. She draws the analogy between the ordered society and the order of the poem: “order among poetic elements is not identical with order among members of human society” (82). This analogy is incoherent for Auden: “a poem is an analogy to paradise, but this

analogical relationship inheres in the ordered relation of words, not in anything these words represent” (Gottlieb 84). That is, there exists a gap between the reality and the words. The systematic structure of the poem does not correspond to the social

coherence. Moreover, this poem is composed by the alliteration which is transformed

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into “inarticulate stuttering” and “speechlessness” (85). Hence, Gottlieb implies that

“the speechlessness of anxiety stands in an analogical relationship to hell” (85). This inarticulacy brings the sense of anxiety.

The previous critics consider the radio as a tool to inform, announce, and interrupt. These words are meaningless and even unable to articulate. Nevertheless, I think that these words stand not only for the meaninglessness but also for an invisible power. These sounds cannot be seen but exist. In The Age of Anxiety, besides the four main characters’ voices, there exists an indiscernible authority, the sound behind the radio. I think that the radio can be seen as a hidden character, the invisible force that represents a totalitarianism, a ruler, or an unnamable sovereignty.

Auden presents a contemporary setting. This modern background is not merely as a setting in the literature world but also an event that happens in daily life. What is the relationship between the radio and the listeners? How do the individuals make choice when they perceive those meaningless words? Does the radio influence the listeners and change space? If it is meaningless, why Auden puts it into this work? I suppose that the radio has some certain power to change the four characters and space at the same time. The radio is not just one-way-direction but also has impact on both the listeners and space.

In Michel de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life, he also questions the voice of the broadcast. He asks: “who is speaking? To whom” (157) and also doubts the role of the listeners: “what do they make of what they ‘absorb’, receive, and pay for? What do they do with it?” (31). The anonymous voice turns out to be a myth since “no one knows what it is” (179). The radio in The Age of Anxiety works as a media, as a schematic tool for an invisible force. The media transforms space into “a cybernetic

society” (40)15 which is “no such ‘pure’ voice, because it is always determined by a system . . . and codified by a way of receiving it” (132). The society is subjugated by the totalitarianism through the auditory strategy. This voice is not merely a neutral word sequence but also a representative of a totalitarian system which attempts to persuade people and make them believe. De Certeau states that

the techniques of ‘making people believe’ play a more decisive role when it is a matter of something that does not exist . . . every reformist power is tempted to acquire political advantages, to transform itself into an

ecclesiastical administration in order to support its project, to thus lose its primitive ‘purity’ or change it into a mere decoration of the apparatus, and to transform its militants into officials or conquerors. (183-84)

The propaganda aims at guaranteeing a prospect that “something does not exist” and it represents the power behind the surface that is absent but exists. It offers a

promising future and convinces people to believe. The words become the medium for the administration to disseminate the certain goals. These messages relay and coax in daily life. There exists an invisible power behind the voice.

The words are hyped, reproduced, and symbolized as the “established powers”

(de Certeau 184). As a result, the words not merely present the information but also act the role as the media. De Certeau suggests that “[t]he media transform the great

15The contemporary society becomes more homogeneous according to de Certeau. He indicates that the system begins “to wander everywhere in a space which is becoming at once more homogeneous and more extensive. Consumers are transformed into immigrants. The system in which they move about is too vast to be able to fix them in one place, but too constraining for them ever to be able to escape from it and go into exile elsewhere. There is no longer an elsewhere” (The Practice of Everyday Life 40). The cybernetic society creates the homogeneous milieu so that the habitants hardly can escape from the state of dictatorship, and so that the society is managed by an autocratic regime, a totalitarianism. The function of the radio announcement is also to create a homogeneous aura in the society. The radio breaks the geographical boundary so that it broadcasts the same information anywhere. Therefore, the authority manipulates the radio to create a cybernetic system so that everyone must receive the information whenever and wherever; as a result, the listeners are inescapable from the cybernetic tautology and are constantly aware of the very existence.

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silence of things into its opposite” (185). It echoes constantly and breaks the sense of time in the present space. Moreover, it turns out to be an endless narrations as de Certeau demonstrates that “[n]arrations about what’s-going-on constitute our orthodoxy. Debates about figures are our theological wars. . . . They move forward camouflaged as facts, data, and events. They present themselves as messengers from a

‘reality’” (185). These pieces of information diffuse everywhere and anytime in daily life. The reality is disguised by the artificial authenticity in order to establish its authority. The perpetual narration, according to de Certeau, “constantly tells us what must be believed and what must be done” (186) and it is transformed into a law that people must obey.

In The Age of Anxiety, the media represents an unknown authority which attempts to dominate space by its tautology. The radio which is the medium for the strategic purpose is manipulated by the invisible force. Therefore, the following discussions will focus on the role of the radio and examine how space is altered by the radio and how the four characters operate their own methods to resist the cybernetic controlling.

在文檔中 威斯坦·休·奧登的《焦慮年代》中的空間實踐 - 政大學術集成 (頁 51-59)