Quote of the Week: Let Us Now Praise Famous Sounds

Quote of the week isn’t from this week. It’s about 60 years old, and it popped up recently on the blog of sound artist Steve Roden:

Outside, from near, there is a sound. It happens every night, and it is most sorrowful. It is the voice of a blond, fat, and craven rooster, a creature half-frightened of his own wives; and in this poor voice of his, lugubrious, almost surreptitious, he is making a statement he so mis-believes that it is rather a question that expects no answer save the utter scorn and denial of silence; and it gets none: but serves only to remind one of the noises of the night, which perhaps have not at any time ceased.

The phrase is by James Agee, from his 1941 collaboration with photographer Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Roden’s mention is at inbetweennoise.blogspot.com. Original citation at books.google.com.

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