The Viennese satirist Karl Kraus (1874–1936), publisher of the influential periodical The Torch (Die Fackel), enjoyed great notoriety during his lifetime as a writer and performer of theatrical texts, famed for his versatility as a vocal mimic and for his ability to turn his own enemies' words against them through probingly glossed quotations of their writing. In recent decades, however, scholarship has treated Kraus primarily as a print satirist, ignoring or downplaying the fact that language, for Kraus, remained vital and meaningful to the extent that it hewed closely to its origins in embodied acts of individual speech. The purpose of this essay is to renew scholarly interest in Kraus's plays and performances by demonstrating how his use of "acoustic quotation"—a term coined by Elias Canetti to describe Kraus's method of quoting printed text as if it were speech—constituted a distinctive response to mass media's disembodiment of language and lived experience in the early twentieth century.


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pp. 85-100
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