Edward Allen is Associate Professor of Modern British and Irish Literature, and a Fellow of Christ’s College at the University of Cambridge. His primary research focus is on sound and media culture, going from broadcasting to technological advances, the contact points between literature and music, and sonic curiosities such as earworms, audiobooks, landlines, and church bells. His books include Forms of Late Modernist Lyric (Liverpool University Press, 2021), Modernist Invention: Media Technology and American Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 2020), and Reading Dylan Thomas (Edinburgh University Press, 2019). He is currently leading a project at the University of Padova called “Radio Waves: Network Building and the Making of Modern Europe”.
“Remembering Memories: Stuart Woolf’s Primo Levi in 1961”
I will be looking in this paper to shed light on the belated nature of a broadcaster’s attitude to genocide. To be specific, I will be investigating the BBC’s approach in the early 1960s to encouraging listeners – and itself – to attend to Primo Levi’s memories of incarceration during the Second World War. Central to my discussion will be the late Stuart Woolf’s translation of Se questo è un uomo, which was adapted in various ways at midcentury.