Theater of the Mind: Imagination, Aesthetics, and American Radio Drama

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

For generations, fans and critics have characterized classic American radio drama as a “theater of the mind.” This book unpacks that characterization by recasting the radio play as an aesthetic object within its unique historical context. In Theater of the Mind, Neil Verma applies an array of critical methods to more than six thousand recordings to produce a vivid new account of radio drama from the Depression to the Cold War.

In this sweeping exploration of dramatic conventions, Verma investigates legendary dramas by the likes of Norman Corwin, Lucille Fletcher, and Wyllis Cooper on key programs ranging from The Columbia Workshop, The Mercury Theater on the Air, and Cavalcade of America to Lights Out!, Suspense, and Dragnet to reveal how these programs promoted and evolved a series of models of the imagination.

With close readings of individual sound effects and charts of broad trends among formats, Verma not only gives us a new account of the most flourishing form of genre fiction in the mid-twentieth century but also presents a powerful case for the central place of the aesthetics of sound in the history of modern experience.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationChicago, IL
PublisherThe University of Chicago Press
Number of pages296
ISBN (Electronic)9780226853529
ISBN (Print)9780226853505
StatePublished - 2012

Fingerprint

Drama
Aesthetics
Charts
Historical Context
Sound Effects
Suspense
Cold
Critical Method
Sound
Flourishing
Radio Plays
Genre Fiction
Aesthetic Object
Dramatic Convention
Air
History
Close Reading

Cite this

Verma, Neil Kanwar Harish. / Theater of the Mind : Imagination, Aesthetics, and American Radio Drama. Chicago, IL : The University of Chicago Press, 2012. 296 p.
@book{604efc7e0a974b4f87ec2e81fa2008bf,
title = "Theater of the Mind: Imagination, Aesthetics, and American Radio Drama",
abstract = "For generations, fans and critics have characterized classic American radio drama as a “theater of the mind.” This book unpacks that characterization by recasting the radio play as an aesthetic object within its unique historical context. In Theater of the Mind, Neil Verma applies an array of critical methods to more than six thousand recordings to produce a vivid new account of radio drama from the Depression to the Cold War.In this sweeping exploration of dramatic conventions, Verma investigates legendary dramas by the likes of Norman Corwin, Lucille Fletcher, and Wyllis Cooper on key programs ranging from The Columbia Workshop, The Mercury Theater on the Air, and Cavalcade of America to Lights Out!, Suspense, and Dragnet to reveal how these programs promoted and evolved a series of models of the imagination.With close readings of individual sound effects and charts of broad trends among formats, Verma not only gives us a new account of the most flourishing form of genre fiction in the mid-twentieth century but also presents a powerful case for the central place of the aesthetics of sound in the history of modern experience.",
author = "Verma, {Neil Kanwar Harish}",
year = "2012",
language = "English (US)",
isbn = "9780226853505",
publisher = "The University of Chicago Press",

}

Verma, NKH 2012, Theater of the Mind: Imagination, Aesthetics, and American Radio Drama. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.

Theater of the Mind : Imagination, Aesthetics, and American Radio Drama. / Verma, Neil Kanwar Harish.

Chicago, IL : The University of Chicago Press, 2012. 296 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

TY - BOOK

T1 - Theater of the Mind

T2 - Imagination, Aesthetics, and American Radio Drama

AU - Verma, Neil Kanwar Harish

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - For generations, fans and critics have characterized classic American radio drama as a “theater of the mind.” This book unpacks that characterization by recasting the radio play as an aesthetic object within its unique historical context. In Theater of the Mind, Neil Verma applies an array of critical methods to more than six thousand recordings to produce a vivid new account of radio drama from the Depression to the Cold War.In this sweeping exploration of dramatic conventions, Verma investigates legendary dramas by the likes of Norman Corwin, Lucille Fletcher, and Wyllis Cooper on key programs ranging from The Columbia Workshop, The Mercury Theater on the Air, and Cavalcade of America to Lights Out!, Suspense, and Dragnet to reveal how these programs promoted and evolved a series of models of the imagination.With close readings of individual sound effects and charts of broad trends among formats, Verma not only gives us a new account of the most flourishing form of genre fiction in the mid-twentieth century but also presents a powerful case for the central place of the aesthetics of sound in the history of modern experience.

AB - For generations, fans and critics have characterized classic American radio drama as a “theater of the mind.” This book unpacks that characterization by recasting the radio play as an aesthetic object within its unique historical context. In Theater of the Mind, Neil Verma applies an array of critical methods to more than six thousand recordings to produce a vivid new account of radio drama from the Depression to the Cold War.In this sweeping exploration of dramatic conventions, Verma investigates legendary dramas by the likes of Norman Corwin, Lucille Fletcher, and Wyllis Cooper on key programs ranging from The Columbia Workshop, The Mercury Theater on the Air, and Cavalcade of America to Lights Out!, Suspense, and Dragnet to reveal how these programs promoted and evolved a series of models of the imagination.With close readings of individual sound effects and charts of broad trends among formats, Verma not only gives us a new account of the most flourishing form of genre fiction in the mid-twentieth century but also presents a powerful case for the central place of the aesthetics of sound in the history of modern experience.

M3 - Book

SN - 9780226853505

BT - Theater of the Mind

PB - The University of Chicago Press

CY - Chicago, IL

ER -

Verma NKH. Theater of the Mind: Imagination, Aesthetics, and American Radio Drama. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2012. 296 p.