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The Mass Dread of Quietude and the British Anti-Noise Crusade 1919–1939

Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine book series (PLSM)

Abstract

This essay explores anti-noise discourse in interwar Britain, examining the contemporaneous cultural meanings of ‘modern’ noise and quietness. More specifically, it argues that anti-noise abatement driven by a small elite enclave represented a fear-ridden response to the emergence of mass, standardized culture. Yes, modern noise was alarming but anti-noise reformers detected an altogether more alarming, underlying problem: an increasing disenchantment with quietness. As I will argue, this rhetorical power and appeal of anti-noise discourse lay in its capacity for opening a cultural space for a patrician re-articulation of the peculiarities of English identity, values and traditions, which was conceived as a resource of quietude and stability with which to counteract the stresses of the machine age.

Keywords

Modern Noise Lord Horder Dundee Courier Quiet Mind medicineMedicine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ManchesterManchesterUK

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