A Sonic Fiction Of Boring Dystopia

Holt, Macon Ashford Bannon. 2017. A Sonic Fiction Of Boring Dystopia. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (A Sonic Fiction Of Boring Dystopia)
CUL_thesis_HoltM_2017.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

This thesis attempts to re-engage the practice of Sonic Fiction devised by Kodwo Eshun, within the historical context that Mark Fisher termed, boring dystopia, and produce A Sonic Fiction of Boring Dystopia. This also shows how the practice of sonic fiction might intercede to overcome an impasse between a traditional critical theory (Adorno) and Deleuzian approaches to the analysis of popular music.

The thesis is in two parts; the first provides an overview of the concept of boring dystopia and the practice of sonic fiction. The second is A Sonic Fiction of Boring Dystopia, that performs an experimental exploration of the practice sonic fiction set across five concepts; Attention, Complicity, Catharsis, Home and Conjunction, three chapters that reconceptualize the works of David Foster Wallace, Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, and Theodor Adorno as theory-fictions and sonic fictions, and 6 experiential fictionalized accounts of musical experience. This is followed by the conclusion of the thesis.

By developing these tools it is argued that we can chart a ‘line of flight’ (Deleuze and Guattari 2013b: 13) to overcome the impasse that inhibits our thinking about the emancipatory potential of popular music. To help us move beyond the rigid pessimism of critical theory and the sometimes apolitical optimism of the Deleuzian approach. Thus allowing us to discover new territory, which the present paradigm may also afford.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):



Pop Music, Sonic Fiction, Theory-Fiction, Boring Dystopia, David Foster Wallace, Theodor Adorno, Deleuze & Guattari, Mark Fisher, Kodwo Eshun, Boring Dystopia

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Centre for Cultural Studies (1998-2017)


31 September 2017

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

23 Oct 2017 14:30

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 14:09



View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)