Immaterial Culture: Literature, Drama and the American Radio Play, 1929-1954 by Harry HeuserImmaterial Culture: Literature, Drama and the American Radio Play, 1929-1954 by Harry Heuser

Immaterial Culture: Literature, Drama and the American Radio Play, 1929-1954

byHarry Heuser

Paperback | September 11, 2013

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Immaterial Culture engages with texts that are now largely unread and dismissed as trivial or dubious: the vast body of plays – thrillers, narrative poetry, comedy sketches, documentaries and adaptations of literature and drama – that aired on American network radio during the medium’s so-called golden age.
For a quarter century, from the stock market crash of 1929 to the introduction of the TV dinner in 1954, radio plays enjoyed an exposure unrivalled by stage, film, television and print media. As well as entertaining audiences numbering in the tens of millions for a single broadcast, these scripted performances – many of which were penned by noted novelists, poets and dramatists – played important and often conflicting roles in advertising, government propaganda and education.
Reading these fugitive and often self-conscious texts in the context in which they were created and presented, the author considers what their neglect might tell us about ourselves, our visual bias and our attitudes toward commercial art and propaganda. The study’s ample scope, its interdisciplinary approach and its insistence on the primacy of the texts under discussion serve to regenerate the discourse about cultural products that challenge the way we classify art and marginalise the unclassifiable.
Harry Heuser holds a PhD in English from the City University of New York. He currently teaches at Aberystwyth University.
Title:Immaterial Culture: Literature, Drama and the American Radio Play, 1929-1954Format:PaperbackDimensions:8.86 × 5.91 × 0.68 inPublished:September 11, 2013Publisher:Peter Lang AG, Internationaler Verlag der WissenschaftenLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3034309775

ISBN - 13:9783034309776


Table of Contents

Contents: Critical reception of American radio culture (1929-1954), then and now – Radio plays in relation to the theatrical stage, print media and education – Verse plays by noted American poets in response to isolationism and fascism – Propagandist/patriotic radio plays by established novelists and aspiring playwrights (1940-1945) – Radio thrillers, mysteries and whodunits in the service of wartime propaganda – Use of dialogue and monologue to explore interiority in radio melodrama – Language of poetry and journalism in the radio plays of Norman Corwin – Reputation of radio culture.