This essay investigates what the word “book” in the concept of the audiobook has come to refer to, and how contemporary material book cultures suggest ways to reperceive audiobook experience. The essay uses audiobooks by David Foster Wallace and Jacques Derrida, which appear to maintain complex yet normative relations to their printed editions, to show how the margins of the audiobook are brought into focus by raising the question of aurality. What does the audiobook suggest in terms of its relation to technologies of listening, hearing, and overhearing? Suggesting that the audiobook’s insistence on the book is matched by its adherence to experiences of phantasmatic aural centeredness, the essay turns to ways in which the book’s materiality might inspire a reaffirmation of the interaural. Case studies include book alterations by Doug Beube and an electronic composition by Yannis Kyriakides, which suggest ways to reperceive audiobookness as a form of sonic tabularity.

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