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Broadcasting Modernism$
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Debra Rae Cohen, Michael Coyle, and Jane Lewty

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813033495

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813033495.001.0001

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Flying Solo

Flying Solo

The Charms of the Radio Body

(p.89) Chapter 5 Flying Solo
Broadcasting Modernism

David Jene Mann

University Press of Florida

In Current of Music, his long-unpublished volume on radio broadcasting, Theodor Adorno describes the uncanny, animist power of the radio voice that terrifyingly infiltrates the listener's private space. Writing sometime between 1938 and 1941, while serving as musical director for the Princeton Radio Research Project (PRRP), Adorno attributes to the radio broadcast the power not only to take over the body of the listener but also to give life to the material objects of the bourgeois home. This chapter also examines Charles Sheeler's “Self-Portrait” in the background when considering some of Adorno's responses to radio broadcasting. Adorno recognized the potentials and pitfalls of the broadcast medium in much the same way that Sheeler imagined the telephone.

Keywords:   Theodor Adorno, Current of Music, radio broadcasting, Charles Sheeler, Self-Portrait

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