Gramophone

Bloom's sad thoughts in Hades about loved ones being quickly forgotten lead him to imagine how new technologies might ameliorate these losses: "Besides how could you remember everybody? Eyes, walk, voice. Well, the voice, yes: gramophone. Have a gramophone in every grave or keep it in the house. After dinner on a Sunday. Put on poor old greatgrandfather. Kraahraark! Hellohellohello amawfullyglad kraark awfullygladaseeagain hellohello amawf krpthsth. Remind you of the voice like the photograph reminds you of the face." The gramophone was an early type of phonograph, sonically much cruder than the electric "record players" and "turntables" that came along later, but not essentially different. Its ability to record the sound of human voices held great appeal.

JH 2021

An American "talking machine" of the early 1900s, with the familiar "His Master's Voice" logo on the front of the cabinet. Source: www.etsy.com.

His Master's Voice, an 1898 painting by Francis Barraud of his brother's dog Nipper listening to an early gramophone. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

1900-01 Style No. 3 Gramophone Company machine held in the British Library, with a later 10-inch record that can only be played by removing the hand crank. Source: sounds.bl.uk.

Two versions, both no doubt digitally retouched, of an 1892 deathbed wax recording of Walt Whitman reciting all but the final two lines of his poem America. Source: www.youtube.com.

1929 Gramophone Company recording of James Joyce reading from the Anna Livia Plurabelle passage, featuring a few seconds of the original sound and then a digitally retouched version of the whole. Source: www.youtube.com.