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Stick it in Your Ear: The Psychodynamics of iPod Enjoyment

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Through a sustained critique of the iPod and discourse about it, this essay advances a psychoanalytic rhetoric of music that characterizes listening experiences in terms of two psychical economies: the psycho-somatic or experiential and the symbolic. We argue that these economies work together to produce the fantasy of a “sonorous envelope,” a re/presentation of losing one's self in music. Because the dis/pleasurable experience of the sonorous envelope is a retroactively imposed understanding of an otherwise ineffable musical encounter, we argue for analyzing representations of the sonorous envelope in popular culture.
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Keywords: Drive Theory; Gadget Love; Jouissance; Popular Music; Sonorous Envelope

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-06-01

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