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In Memory of Radio
Transcript of In Memory of Radio
Amiri Baraka Dan A. Kim N. Michael M. Tristan S. Summary Describes author Amiri Baraka's feelings towards his beloved radio entertainment
Lamont Cranston - pulp fiction radio character
Through new entertainment, radio is in essense dead. Amiri Baraka Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1934
Was in the Air Force for three years and then earned a degree from Rutgers University
He renounced nationalism and declared himself an international Marxist in the mid-1970's
Part of the Beat Movement The-shadow-45. Digital image. Billcainonline.com. N.p., 12 May 2011. Web. 10 Mar. 2013. Baraka, Imamu Amiri. Photograph. Britannica Online for Kids. Web. 10 Mar. 2013. <http://kids.britannica.com/comptons/art-137065>. Stanza 2 -Lamont Cranston is compared to actual wood
-Idea of wood being better than linoeum Stanza 1 "Who has ever stopped to think of the divinity of
(Only Jack Kerouac, that I know of: & me.
The rest of you probably had on WCBS and Kate Smith,
Or something equally unattractive.)" -Believes that no one acknowledged the great work done by Lamont Cranston
-Assumes you are the masses listening to what's popular Stanza 3 "Am I a sage or something?
Mandrake’s hypnotic gesture of the week?
(Remember, I do not have the healing powers of Oral Roberts .... 10 I cannot, like F. J. Sheen, tell you how to get saved & rich!
I cannot even order you to gaschamber satori like Hitler or Goody Knight" -opens with rhetorical question
-creates a sarcastic tone
-bring his level of significance to the level of the reader Stanza 4 "& love is an evil word.
Turn it backwards/see, see what I mean?
An evol word. & besides
who understands it?
I certainly wouldn't like to go out on that kind of limb." Beat Poetry -makes a strong statement
-continues with sarcastic tone
-Proves point with a satiric arguement Stanza 5
"Saturday mornings we listened to Red Lantern &his undersea folk.At 11, Let’s Pretend/& we did/& I, the poet, still do, Thank God!" -reminiscences about a past when that type broadcast was frequent
-uses "we" to generalize and seperate A social movement that opposed the materialstic american liefstyle in the 60s.
During a time of prolific literary experimentation.
These authors rebelled against percieved morale and used uncoventional writing techniques to stand out in society.
Famous authors: Jack Kerouac, Amiri Baraka Stanza 6 "What is it he used to say..."" 'Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows' " - Rhetorical questions used chronically
- The Shadow is characterized as an omniscient being.
- Baraka's memory of The Shadow is culminated in his quote from the Shadow. This quote is his greatest memory of The Shadow and he uses the quote to illustrate his point tha love is evil. STANZA OVERVIEW Tone Stanza 7 "O, yes he does
O, yes he does
An evil word it is,
This Love" - Responds to the Shadow's rhetorical question
- Affirms that the Shadow knows that love is an evil word
- memorable quote to restates the expression that love is painful. Definition tone: style or manner of expression in speaking or writing " it is better to have loved
than lost than to put linoleum in your living room" Gale Cengage Learning. Cengage Learning, n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2... Elegy Definition "elegy (EL-e-je):A lyric poem that laments the death of a person or the eventual death of all people. In a conventional elegy, set in a classical world, the poet and subject are spoken of as shepherds. In modern criticism, the word elegy is often used to refer to a poem that is melancholy or mournfully contemplative." -An elegy is mournful of a person who has died
-In modern times, poems are not always about a person
-Similar to a eulogy (same greek roots) --> honors someone deceased Within the Poem -Significance of title: elegy in itself
-The radio broadcasts he used to enjoy when he was young no longer go on air and are, in essense, "dead"
-Barka reminices over this time in his life and feels an emptiness inside Linoleum -A cheaper alternative to wood in flooring houses
-Lasts longer and can have the same looks as wood Literary Terms Rhetorical Questions Definition "Rhetorical Question: A question intended to provoke thought, but not an expressed answer, in the reader. It is most commonly used in oratory and other persuasive genres." -A rhetorical question is intened to provoke thought in the reader but does not answer the posed question. Rhetorical Question 1 "Who has ever stopped to think of the divinity of Lamont Cranston?" -Barka poses the idea that the audience does not know a popular radio program Rhetorical Question 2 "What can I say?" -Barka is thinking out loud
-The question infers there is nothing to say on the matter
-He knows what he is going to say, but doesn't know exactly how to phrase his ideas Rhetorical Question 3 "Am I a sage or something?"
"He questions his own authority as poet in the third stanza when he asks, “What am I a sage or something?”—implying that readers would do well not to necessarily trust the page." -Barka does not think he's a sage, adds playfulness to the poem
-Questions his authority as a poet
-Mentions other public figures who claim to be sages but are not
-Doubts himself as a leader Allusions Definition Divinity Reference allusion: an implied or indirect reference esp. in literature ;also : the use of such references -use of references
-usually involving historical or literary references "Who has ever stopped to think of the divinity of
Lamont Cranston?" -Amiri opens his elogy by stating Lamont Cranston was divine.
-Divinity is a word to describe someone who is worshipped.
-Amiri is saying the story of Lamont Cranston is worth being worshipped Sarcastic #1 "(Remember, I do not have the healing powers of Oral Roberts ....I 10 I cannot, like F. J. Sheen, tell you how to get saved & rich!" "'Who has ever stopped to think the divinty of Lamont Cranston?'
(Only jack Kerouac, that I know of: & me)" -Amiri is putting a religious context on pulp fiction.
-He references an evangalist, Oral Roberts, whom also had a radio show.
-He contrasted himself from F.J. Sheen, a Catholic preacher who had his own religious radio. -Asks a rhetoric question in the context of the subject
-Uses an ask and answer approach to emphasize point. Sarcastic #2 "(Remember, I do not have the healing powers of 10
Oral Roberts ....
I cannot, like F. J. Sheen, tell you how to get saved
I cannot even order you to gaschamber satori like
Hitler or Goody Knight" -Makes obvious statements (compares his ability to popular figures)
-uses an ellipsis and exclamation point to emphasize obvious comparison "Am I a sage or something?" Sarcastic #3 -Rhetorical question
-Underlying meaning: is he the only one able to appreciate this kind of radio? Arrogant #1 Theme Definition theme: The dominant idea of a work of literature. -Overall or most prominent idea Theme "The rest of you probably had on WCBS and Kate
Or something equally unattractive.)" Death can make love seem like a painful emotion. Theme (analysis) -Has generalized you "the audience" to the rest in a deragatory sense
-"something equally unattractive": statement saying "you" listen to bad radio -expresses his endearment towards radio entertainment
-pain is felt living without it
-the loss of something dear turns the emotion of love in to pain Theme (analysis) cont. stanza 4 he states that, "love is and evil word", satirically comparing it to it's reciprocal "evol" which is a homophone of evil. Arrogant #2 "Am I a sage or something" -Brings himself to the level of a very wise man (sage) because of his appreciation Arrogant #3 "At 11, Let’s Pretend
& we did
& I, the poet, still do. Thank God!" Critiques -Focuses "we" on him and poet (excludes audience)
-"Thank God!" sarcastic and arrogant expression that is commonly used, especially in modern times Tyrus Miller Chris Semansky Biography -Critic present in Gale's Poetry for Students
-Has written critiques in journals and literary magazines The Loss of Self -grows up to realize the reality of radio
-Lamont Cranston is figure that helps him remember
-arrogance in mindset of keeping self
-questions it later Radio is inherently evil By focusing on popular public figures such as Bishop Fulton J. Sheen and Oral Roberts, who began their careers proselytizing on radio, the narrator underscores the idea that people are gullible. Not only do we fall for what we are told (e.g., the promise of religious or economic salvation or, in Hitler’s case, genetic and national salvation), but we have been trained to be so since childhood. What the speaker once thought were good things, radio shows and characters such as Red Lantern andLet’s Pretend, turn out to be inherently evil, for they condition him, and by implication the public, to live in the world of make believe. -Love is evil? The love for radio is evil.
-radio itself is evil -emphasis on imagination
-conditions one to be gullible by playing with mind at a young age (reference to old pulp fictions) Biography -assistant professor of comparative literature at Yale University
-teaches 20th century literature and visual culture Beginning of the End "Memory of Radio” acknowledges that even this first entry into writing, this “preface” to the long “suicide note” of his oeuvre, is already steeped in death. For it emerges out of the death and remembrance of his childhood’s most intense imaginative experience, the long hours a boy spent seated before the radio. -Part of a collection of poems in his book entitled "Preface to a twenty volume suicide note"
-Dying memories of his childhood acts as a opener
-Time is passing, One is always dying
-initial step of summing up his life through writing Innocence Broken Down The child’s innocence, which the adult poet seems to mourn as a more authentic and undivided state of imaginative power, was also a form of blindness, a failure to grasp the real world’s truth. This metaphorical blindness, however, was in turn conditioned by the literal invisibility of the radio personages, who appeared only through the magical conjurings of their voices. -Barrack mourns his innocent imagination from his childhood
-As an adult, Barrack realizes the mature messages behind his favorite radio shows
-Realization this ruins his happy innocent childhood Sources "In Memory of Radio." Poetry for Students. Ed. Ira Mark Milne. Vol. 9. Detroit: Gale Group, 2000. 143-156. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 26 Feb. 2013. Mood Definition mood \?müd\ n [ME, fr. OE m?d; akin to OHG muot mood] (bef. 12c) 1 : a conscious state of mind or predominant emotion : feeling ;also : the expression of mood esp. in art or literature Gale Cengage Learning. Cengage Learning, n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2... Analysis - The author's mood expressed in the poem is jovially reminiscent.
- The author also expresses the agony of the loss of radio.
- He explains his memories of his favorite characters and describes his love as pain in order to express the state of his broken heart. Miller1. Digital image. Graddiv.usc.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2013. <http://graddiv.ucsc.edu/prospective-students/images/Miller1.jpg>.