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Listening In (Paperback)

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From the 1940s until the 1960s, Elizabeth Bowen wrote essays for radio broadcast, improvised interviews on the air, and gave public lectures. These public appearances were a trial for her because she had a pronounced stammer. She thought her recorded voice sounded alien, like "the voice of a stranger." She complained that reading her own work on the air gave her lockjaw. Nevertheless, she was a spellbinding talker, as her many friends commented. Invited to university campuses in the US and the UK, she delivered important speeches on language, "the fear of pleasure," character in fiction, the idea of American homes, and other topics. Inveterately curious, Bowen wrote about media as a personal and social force.

Without fuss or pretension, she documents her love of cinema in the 1930s and the making of Lawrence of Arabia in the 1960s. Her first efforts for radio were adaptations of her own short stories and dramatizations of literary subjects. She quickly turned to commentary on culture, such as the beginning of the BBC Third Programme and the atmosphere in postwar Czechoslovakia. In this regard, the radio and the speech shape Bowen's persona as a public intellectual capable of talking on numerous subjects with wit and general insight.

During her lifetime, Bowen published a few of her broadcasts in collections of non-fiction. Listening In brings together a substantial number of her ungathered and unknown works for the first time.


Publisher Edinburgh Univ Pr
Mfg Part# 9780748640423
SKU 213821462
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0748640428
Release Date 7/1/2010
Product Attributes
Book Format Paperback
Minimum Age 22
Number of Pages 0381
Publisher Edinburgh University Press
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