A Question of Listening: Nancean Resonance, Return and Relation in Charlie Chaplin
In this paper, I use a close reading of the silent films of Charlie Chaplin, in which his Tramp figure eludes speech, yet communicates meaning without speaking to illustrate my argument that Nancy’s philosophy is capable of the active mediation of listening. I examine how Chaplin listens through Nancean resonance and attention to others. Nancy considers who is listening as a place of resonance in which a sonorous body refers back to itself as other. By placing resonance, Nancy avoids creating a subject detached from an object or a subject present to itself. As a place of resonance, Chaplin makes the subject as other as he refers back waves of meaning to himself as other. Referring back to himself as other, Chaplin makes himself listened to and listens to himself as other.
1 Hallward, P. 2007. “Jean-Luc Nancy and the Implosion of Thought,” The Oxford Literary Review, 27, 159-180.
2 First published in 2002 in Paris as À L’écoute and later translated into English by Charlotte Mandell in 2007 as Listening.