Gertrude Stein and the Radio

Sarah Wilson

in Broadcasting Modernism

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780813033495
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038315 | DOI:
Gertrude Stein and the Radio

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Gertrude Stein returned to the United States in 1934, a year of fierce debate over the Federal Communications Act and the regulation of American radio. Her relationship with American newspapers predated her late romance with the radio. However, the radio in particular acted as a powerful formal model for Stein's late writing. Radio's influence can be traced in Stein's political and aesthetic strategies during her American tour, and it emerges as a dominant note in her World War II texts. Meanwhile, discussion programs of the 1930s were particularly provocative in their approach to audience participation. Not unlike Stein's writing, these programs attempted to reorient audience enjoyment away from the certainty of conventional knowing. Surprisingly, the marketing strategies of the major discussion programs trumpeted their cultivation of intellectual complication, something that most often associated with Stein's avant-gardism.

Keywords: American radio; radio broadcasting; Gertrude Stein; World War II; Federal Communications Act

Chapter.  7409 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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