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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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Gertrude Stein and the Radio

Gertrude Stein and the Radio

(p.106) (p.107) Chapter 6 Gertrude Stein and the Radio
Broadcasting Modernism

Sarah Wilson

University Press of Florida

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

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