This chapter examines what sounds are generated from seashells. In his 1915 Book of Wonders, popular science writer Rudolph Bodmer explains that “the sounds we hear when we hold a sea shell to the ear are not really the sound of the sea waves. We have come to imagine that they are because they sound like the waves of the sea, and knowledge that the shell originally came from the sea helps us to this conclusion very easily.” Both sea and seashell sounds were generated by waves. This chapter suggests that the changing ratios of ocean, air, and blood in seashell-sound accountings track a European–Atlantic–American ethno-conchology, one that unrolls from Romantic enthrallment toward a double-edged modernity that uses the language of science to disenchant at one moment and then reenchant at another.
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