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Acoustic modernism: BBC Radio and The Little Girls

Autor: Allan Hepburn
Revista: Textual Practice Nº 27 (1)
Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0950236X.2013.752223#.VUeRSyHtlHw

Elizabeth Bowen, at the invitation of BBC Radio producers, broadcast talks, features, and short dramatic pieces from the 1940s through the 1960s. Her broadcasting caused her to rethink the relation of sound to information and meaning. Radio thus had a defining influence on her writing of fiction, especially The Little Girls, which is implicated in a complex sound world.

Like other novels published at mid-century, this novel emphasizes the acoustic aspects of modernism, particularly the possibilities of overlapping, repetitive, and misheard sounds. Bowen pays particular attention to dialogue and verbal style, where noise confronts language and sound confronts meaning.