You happen to be reading the first post—or rather, the prologue—to The Eaves, an online journal that features writing about sound, sound about writing, and everything in between.
The Eaves wants to be more serious than a blog and more adventurous than an academic journal. It showcases writing about and through sound, attempting to make full use of the internet’s affordances for different degrees and combinations of linear and non-linear writing.
Please go to the About page for more information.
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If you’re an author and sound has a special place in (some of) your work, please send us your essays, short fiction, and poetry.
Also, if you happen to be working with sound, send us your thoughts—in the medium of writing, sound, or any combination of the two—on sound in literature, songwriting, Tondichtung, notational experiments, speech and voices, … …
Please also take note of our guidelines for authors.
And of course, you can just start reading here: The first contribution to The Eaves explores the role of sound in literature, and hints at the provenance of the journal title: Jean-Luc Nancy describes in Listening how ‘être aux écoutes’, being all ears, derives from the concealed place of secret listening—the eaves, in English. The eaves are that intimate, hidden part of a house where ears are pricked up and curious listeners strain to overhear conversations and confessions, while sounds reveal their promiscuity and their suggestive if fleeting power. Originally a term from military espionage, ‘être à l’écoute’ was re-introduced into the public sphere via broadcasting and in some contexts continues to be associated with confidence and stolen secrets. Similarly, there seems to be a tendency for sound in literary texts to acquire its full force in the dark places of narrative, language, and psychology, thus providing the opportunity to auscultate what is otherwise hidden. Indeed, the connections between the geographies and practices of listening and the realms of intimacy and secrecy in literature are strong and manifold. Thus ‘seriously and solemnly Richard Dalloway got on his hind legs and said that no decent man ought to read Shakespeare’s sonnets because it was like listening at keyholes’. Indeed, everyone reading Mrs Dalloway will at this point realize that they themselves are eavesdropping on the party at Bourton.
After all, isn’t reading always just that—eavesdropping?