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English Research Seminar: Dr Edward Allen, Cambridge University

Dr Edward Allen, Cambridge University

‘Catch as catch can: Towards an understanding of literary-sonic pests’
I will be attempting in this paper to elaborate on and complicate the work of recent neuroscientists in their bid to explain the phenomenon of sticky music (or INMI, ‘Involuntary Music Imagery’). After working over some of the scientific literature, I’ll explore a number of pests from the field of imaginative writing, by Poe, Twain, and Eliot, with a view to suggesting what it is literary studies has to offer those who want to know where earworms come from, and what to do about them.

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