Making the Mismatch
The Introduction presents the concept of the mismatched woman through a discussion of the history of sound technology and its relationship to male and female bodies, mythical figures like sirens, and historical figures like castrati. Although their roles in the novel, cinema, television, and the internet were built on the possibility that they may at any point burst into song, there are four things that make the mismatched woman unique even among musical voices: (1) she can appear with or without a narrative; (2) she is far more comfortable singing than speaking; (3) she sounds “wrong,” yet her star text insists that she is “real”; and (4) she cannot be maternal. The introduction details each of these conditions and discusses what the recognition of this figure might mean for sound studies, feminist film theory, and the interpretation of audiovisual texts.
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