Vocal Woolf: The audiobook as a technology of health

Cecilia Björkén-Nyberg


This article explores the therapeutic potential of the performing audiobook voice. It takes as its point of departure the view that the audiobook negotiates the semantics of a text and its vocal manifestation. A key idea is that the performing voice is an affordance for creating a salutogenic sense of coherence in the listener. The argument is theoretically situated within the context of the psychology and sociology of music, with affect regulation and ‘health musicking’ as significant elements. The British actress Juliet Stevenson’s reading of Virginia Woolf’s second novel Night and Day (1919) will be approached as a case of ‘health musicking’ and an eventbased appreciation of sonic culture. This discussion will focus on the listeners’ appropriation of the sound object for their own empowering purposes.

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ISSN: 1904-500X

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