Mara Scanlon, who is quickly becoming a blogger extraordinaire, just blogged about a podcast by Nate DiMeo that discusses Guglielmo Marconi vision of sound waves as a crazy idea of eternal recurrence. To quote Mara:
According to Nate DiMeo, late in his life, Marconi came to believe that sound waves never disappeared, but rather went on and on, infinitely in time and space, and that if he could just find the right frequency, he could listen to the past– to great speakers and figures and historical events, to the praise of others that would ensure he would live beyond his imminent death, to the most intimate of moments in his own life.
What an amazing vision of the past and sound, and Mara’s weaving this together with tuning into Whitman’s poetry a century and a half later is masterful. And for me, I wonder how we might be able to imagine the abstract, disembodied sounds of the past re-congeal within the posts of the Looking for Whitman experiment. I’m fascinated by how that imaginative process of constantly accessing the sounds and visions of the past is what we are framing out right now with the web, and what I love about Marconi’s vision is how chaotic, open, and imaginatively out there it was. It’s a vision that beautifully buttresses Whitman’s call across time to each and every reader/listener/dreamer.