Led On Line
Presentazione - About us
Novita' - What's new
E-Journals
E-books
Lededizioni Home Page Ricerca - Search
Catalogo - Catalogue
Per contattarci - Contacts
Per gli Autori - For the Authors
Statistiche - Statistics
Cookie Policy
Privacy Policy

Loss of Identity in the Urban Soundscape of John Gay’s Trivia

Jan Marten Ivo Klaver

Abstract


Literary critics and historians have often stressed the importance of the sensory experience in John Gay’s Trivia (1716) and have concentrated on the visual impact of the London cityscape as being responsible for the sensory impressions in the poem. But, as Trivia’s London is largely represented by street noise, this essay argues that it is above all sound that gives the poem this impressionistic quality. City noise is constantly present as a backdrop to Gay’s eighteenth-century urban setting. Moreover, much of the text reveals social tensions in an urban setting where individual identities are effaced, and Trivia’s speaker is constantly at pains to preserve the integrity of his own self. But as neither silence nor distance are possible in Gay’s London, there is no escape from the crowd’s press or from the continuous invasion of sound. Especially the emphasis on the presence of traffic noise, and the allusions to Homeric and Biblical chariots of war, turns into a powerful symbol of fear of the city as a place of moral degradation and cultural annihilation.


Keywords


John Gay; Trivia; Soundscape; City; English Literature.

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ling-2020-001-klav

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

 


Linguæ & - Rivista di lingue e culture moderne
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (06/04/2012 n. 185)
Online ISSN 1724-8698 - Print ISSN 2281-8952


Dipartimento di Scienze della Comunicazione, Studi Umanistici e Internazionali: Storia, Culture, Lingue, Letterature, Arti, Media
Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo


Editor-in-Chief: Roberta Mullini
Editorial Board: Maurizio Ascari - Stefano Beretta - Antonio Bertacca- Tania Collani - Chiara Elefante - Marina Guglielmi - Maryline Heck - Richard Hillman - Reinhard Johler - Stephen Knight - Cesare Mascitelli - Sonia Massai - Aurélie Moioli - Maria de Fátima Silva - Bart Van Den Bossche 

Editorial Staff: Margaret Amatulli - Alessandra Calanchi - Riccardo Donati - Ivo Klaver  - Massimiliano Morini - Antonella Negri - Luca Renzi


Referee List