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Music, Poetry, Propaganda

Constructing French Cultural Soundscapes at the BBC during the Second World War

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Claire Launchbury

Offering new perspectives on the role of broadcasting in the construction of cultural memory, this book analyses selected instances in relation to questions of French identity at the BBC during the Second World War. The influence of policy and ideology on the musical and the poetic is addressed by drawing on theoretical frameworks of the archive, memory, trauma and testimony. Case studies investigate cultural memories constructed through three contrasting soundscapes. The first focuses on the translation of ‘Frenchness’ to the BBC’s domestic audiences; the second examines the use of slogans on the margins of propaganda broadcasts. In the third, the implications of the marriage of poetry and music in the BBC’s 1945 premier of Francis Poulenc’s cantata setting of resistance poems by the surrealist poet Paul Éluard in Figure humaine are assessed. Concentrating on the role of the archive as both narrative source and theoretical frame, this study offers a new approach to the understanding of soundscapes and demonstrates the processes involved in the creation of sonic cultural memory in the context of global conflict.

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Index 205

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Index Abetz, Otto 24 Adams, G.D. 39 Alliance Française 25 Almavi, Christian 74, 75 Alwyn, William 62 Anglo-French Music Society 70 Antelme, Robert 11 L’espèce humaine 159 anti-Semitism 107–8, 113, 131 Les Juifs contre la France 133 Appointment with fear 62 Aprahamian, Felix 72 Aragon, Louis 67, 94, 112, 123, 124, 148–9 Le Crève-cœur 67, 95–6, 168, 169 La Rime en 1940 148–9, 165 archive 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 29, 30, 167 Armistice Day 75 L’Art n’a pas de Patrie 15 ash, cinders 7, 8, 9, 140 Association française d’action artistique 70 Association of British Musicians Ltd 69, 70 Atack, Margaret 15 Auschwitz-Birkenau 2, 5, 62, 140, 153 see also camps Babar, éléphant français libre 135 Backhaus, Wilhelm 48 Bailly, Jean-Christophe 118 Barbarant, Olivier 94, 95 Bastille Day 17, 34, 56, 57, 73, 74–97 Bauman, Richard 114 BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) 2, 11, 19, 31 calling signal 99, 102, 123 Charter Review 38 Empire Service 28, 169 Features Department 59–60, 84 French Service 29, 82, 91, 95–137, 162 Gramophone Department 36 Home Service 53, 74–97 Monitoring 135 Music Department 36, 37, 53, 134–5 Overseas Music Department 105 People’s War Project 170 presentation of Figure humaine 159–64 Talks 84 Third Programme 53–4 Variety 84 BBC Chorus 93 BBC Music Policy 28–44, 52 Music Advisory Committee 43, 54 BBC Symphony Orchestra 93 BBC Theatre Orchestra 66 Beethoven, Ludwig van 30, 109 Symphony...

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