Jean Cocteau's Radio Poetry

RubÉn Gallo

in The Sound of Poetry / The Poetry of Sound

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780226657424
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226657448 | DOI:
Jean Cocteau's Radio Poetry

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This chapter explores one of the most original attempts to compose a sound poetry inspired by radio, a radio-poetic experiment that was neither a poem nor a piece of music but a film: Jean Cocteau's Orpheus. Many of the early twentieth century's most radical poets were also interested in radio and in exploring the parallels between broadcasting and experimental writing. The possibilities of the new radiophonic medium inspired a new form of sound poetry: one that incorporated elements from the soundscape created by the new technology. The rise of radio attracted the attention of intellectuals around the world, who debated the virtues and shortcomings of the new medium. This chapter concludes that a poet can be original only by becoming unoriginal and embracing the practice of uncreative writing.

Keywords: Jean Cocteau's Orpheus; sound poetry; radio; broadcasting; radiophonic medium; soundscape

Chapter.  5678 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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