Inventing the Radio Cosmopolitan

Aaron Jaffe

in Broadcasting Modernism

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780813033495
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038315 | DOI:
Inventing the Radio Cosmopolitan

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Guglielmo Marconi and Nikola Tesla were engaged in an archly Modernist struggle of hyperbolic self-definition against other inventors, patent-holders, and, ultimately, each another, a struggle for prestige and patent rights that helped institute the incipient promotional rhetoric of radio as a paradigm of modern self-hood in an age of increasing technological and economic displacements. Answering the question of who invented radio is like answering who invented Modernism. Radio and Modernism are, in other words, beyond the prerogatives of author-inventors. Instead, names like Marconi and Conrad, Tesla and Eliot signify emergent medial practices, to put a somewhat different spin on Foucault's formula about the founders of discursivity, applied technologists at work upon a scene of media transience. This chapter examines Marconi, the human beat box; MC Tesla; and DJ Konrad Korzeniowski.

Keywords: Guglielmo Marconi; Nikola Tesla; T.S. Eliot; radio culture; Konrad Korzeniowski

Chapter.  7707 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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