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Lost SoundThe Forgotten Art of Radio Storytelling$
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Jeff Porter

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469627779

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627779.001.0001

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The Museum of Jurassic Radio

The Museum of Jurassic Radio

Sonic Excess in Dylan Thomas and Samuel Beckett

Chapter:
6 The Museum of Jurassic Radio
Source:
Lost Sound
Author(s):

Jeff Porter

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627779.003.0007

Whatever their aesthetic differences, Dylan Thomas and Samuel Beckett shared, as Chapter 6 argues, an interest in defying radio’s ontological borders (between being and nonbeing, embodiment and disembodiment) by flirting with the disruptive properties of sound. For Thomas and Beckett, the voice is not speech but sound, and their radio plays, especially Under Milk Wood and All That Fall, take extreme measures to liberate the word from speech—from the logos—destabilizing the codes of language. Using the incantatory power of voice, Thomas dramatizes the arbitrariness of signification through an excess of sound, while Beckett insists that spoken language is of the body, and in embodiment we find new ways to complicate, if not resist, the symbolic order of language and to take revenge on the logos for having devocalized language.

Keywords:   Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood, Return Journey, Samuel Beckett, BBC, Radiophonic Workshop, All That Fall, Dramaturgic voice, Vocalic body

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