Valentina Castagna

Voices from the past: Memory and desire in Marina Warner’s radio play Brigit’s Cell

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This article examines Marina Warner’s radio play Birgitta’s Cell (BBC Radio 4), later published as Brigit’s Cell (2010) focusing on the themes of memory and desire. By drawing on Jan Assman’s theories on collective memory, the article shows how the two time levels Warner builds in the radio drama succeed in creating a fresh connection between women in the past and in the present as well as between individual and collective experience. The analysis of Warner’s work focuses on the dramatization of the story, taking into account the results offered by the use of the spoken word, fragments of dialogues, interior monologues, silences, enhanced, by its initial destination for the radio.


  • radio drama
  • orality
  • collective memory
  • women and desire


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