Emily Merriman wrote:
> Does anyone know the source of a phrase attributed to Eliot: "auditory
> Thank you in advance!
Ken Armstrong replied:
> Are you thinking of "auditory imagination"?
> What I call the "auditory imagination" is the feeling for syllable
> and rhythm, penetrating far below the conscious levels of thought
> and feeling, invigorating every word; sinking to the most primitive
> and forgotten, returning to the origin and bringing something
> back, seeking the beginning and the end. It works through meanings,
> certainly, or not without meanings in the ordinary sense, and
> fuses the old and obliterated and the trite, the current, and the
> new and surprising, the most ancient and the most civilised
> mentality .
> T. S. Eliot, "Matthew Arnold," The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism
> Ken A
I decided to do a Google search on "auditory inwardness" to see what
came up. It appears that Linda Trichter Metcalf and Tobin Simon
decided that was what Eliot said. They developed something that
they trade-marked "Proprioceptive Writing®" in the late 70s and then
in a later book (Writing the Mind Alive: The Proprioceptive Method
for Finding Your Authentic [Voice???]) they wrote:
You begin to awaken what TS Eliot called "auditory inwardness"
and what in Proprioceptive Writing we call the auditory imagination
—- the capacity to enter ...
This seems to have caused some confusion as we see here at
Overall writing is a bitter sweet technique. With it we are able to
record our thoughts, emotions, ideas, beliefs, desires and so much
more. Even better yet the use of writing as a tool is very effective
in helping us hear the sound of our thoughts; this is possible
because writing slows down our thinking at just the right pace so
that we are able to record it. Personally there are times when I
hear a voice in my head as I am writing, of course it’s my own.
I think of it as a dictation, I hear it dictating to me what should
be put down. It is in times like this that I am more aware of my
thoughts, and I begin to realize that I am listening in to my
thoughts. This is what T. S. Eliot called “auditory inwardness”,
but when done through proprioceptive writing it’s known as auditory
imagination. This term can be defined as “the capacity to enter
your thoughts in an interested, nonjudgmental way and gain awareness
of yourself from them.” However when we have thoughts as a physical
medium, we tend to be physically separate from it.
Finally, in a circa 1994 book, "The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of
Reading in an Electronic Age" by Sven Birkerts and published by
Faber and Faber we have this interesting thought:
When we read with our eyes, we hear the words in the theater of our
auditory inwardness. The voice we conjure up is our own–it is the
sound-print of the self. Bringing this voice to life via the book
is one of the subtler aspects of the reading magic, but hearing a
book in the voice of another amounts to a silencing of that self
–-it is an act of vocal tyranny. The listener is powerless against
the taped voice, not at all in the position of my five-year-old
daughter, who admonishes me continually, "Don't read it like that,
Dad." With the audio book, everything-–pace, timbre, inflection–-is
determined for the captive listener. The collaborative component
is gone; one simply receives.