Book Cover


Lessons from Radio Drama

Edited by Lars Bernaerts and Jarmila Mildorf

248 pp. 6 x 9
2 illustrations
Pub Date: July, 2021

Subjects: Narrative Studies
Film & Media

Series: Theory and Interpretation of Narrative

order Hardcover $99.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-1472-5
Order PDF ebook$34.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-8129-1

Audionarratology is an innovative volume that opens up an exciting new field in the rapidly expanding area of transgeneric and transmedial narrative theories. If you don’t yet know what such concepts as auricularization, earwitnessing, or soundscapes mean, read this collection of original essays and you’ll find out what interesting lessons can be learned from the study of radio drama.” —Ansgar Nünning

“Edited by two authorities of aurality in narrative, Audionarratology asks how a fictional world can be projected by the sole means of voice and sound. The essays in this book intervene in topical debates within transmedial narratology and introduce audiodrama to the affordances of narratological analysis. A must-have for radio play afficionados.” —Monika Fludernik, co-editor of Postclassical Narratology: Approaches and Analyses

Radio drama has been around for more than one hundred years and is still vibrant in many countries. A narrative-dramatic genre and art form in its own right, radio drama has traditionally crossed medial and generic boundaries and continues to do so in our age of digitization. Audionarratology: Lessons from Audio Drama, edited by Lars Bernaerts and Jarmila Mildorf, explores radio drama from a narratological angle. The contributions cover key questions surrounding audiophonic meaning-making, storyworld creation, mediation, focalization, suspense, unreliability, and ambiguity as well as the relationship between script and performance, seriality, antinarrative tendencies, and radio drama’s political implications now and in its early days. The book thus explores the interplay between sound, voices, music, language, silence, electroacoustic manipulation, and narrative structures. Providing examples from American, Australian, British, Dutch, and German radio drama—such as I Love a MysteryThe War of the Worlds, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—this book has important insights for scholars working in transmedial narratology, media studies, literary and cultural studies, theatre and performance studies, and communication studies as well as for practitioners and lovers of radio drama alike.

Lars Bernaerts is Associate Professor at Ghent University in Belgium.
Jarmila Mildorf is Associate Professor at the University of Paderborn in Germany.


Introduction    When Sounds Make Stories: Lessons for Narrative Theory from the Study of Radio Drama

            Lars Bernaerts and Jarmila Mildorf

Part I   Narratological Challenges in Theory and Practice

1          The Audio Dramatist’s Critical Vocabulary in Great Britain

            Tim Crook

2          “Stage” Directions in the Radio Script: A Transgeneric Narratological Approach

            Janine Hauthal

3          Narrative Mediation and the Case of Audio Drama

            Lars Bernaerts

4          Earwitnessing: Focalization in Radio Drama

            Siebe Bluijs

5          Simultaneity and the Soundscapes of Audio Fiction

            Caroline A. Kita

Part II  Narrative Genres and Narrative Experiments in Audio Drama

6          “There ain’t no sense to nothin’”: Serial Storytelling, Radio Consciousness, and the Gothic of Audition

            Harry Heuser

7          Auricularization and Narrative-Epistemic Stance in Louis Nowra’s Echo Point

            Jarmila Mildorf

8          “Arthur Lolled”: Audiophony and Humor in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

            Olivier Couder

9          Gargantuan Adaptations: Narrative and Non-Narrative Soundscapes in English and German Radio Plays and Radio Operas Based on François Rabelais and Johann Fischart

            Till Kinzel

10        Music, Voice, and (De)Narrativization in Samuel Beckett’s Radio Play Cascando

            Pim Verhulst

Coda    Radio Drama between Mimetic and Diegetic Presentation

            Marie-Laure Ryan

Appendix        List of Radio Plays



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