048: "Not Quite Fresh:" On Truth in Broadcasting
Penelope Fitzgerald's "Human Voices" and the importance of independent media
[The bell’s] always got to be relayed direct from Westminster, the real thing, never from disc. That’s got to be firmly fixed in the listeners’ minds. Then, if Big Ben is silent, the public will know that the war has taken a distinctly unpleasant turn.
—Penelope Fitzgerald, Human Voices
Hello, book survivalists. It’s been a minute, so I thought I would send a quick dispatch from the front lines of traveling for work and writing while traveling.
As SBB regulars know, I think that Penelope Fitzgerald is the GOAT—the indisputable best of all the late 20th century novelists, and Human Voices, a comic novel about the BBC during World War II, has been on my mind lately.
Based on Fitzgerald’s own experience working in the BBC during the Blitz, Human Voices takes place inside the BBC mothership, Broadcasting House, where “the best engineers in the world, and a crew varying between the intensely respectable and the barely sane, broadcast the news of the British war effort to the citizenry.” At th…
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