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Auden reads “The Unknown Citizen” for Public Television, 1971

By Edward Mendelson

In 1971 the television series The Great American Dream Machine, produced by WNET and the Public Broadcasting System, invited Auden to read "The Unknown Citizen" on the air for one of its episodes. Auden's reading, made in a churchyard in Douglaston, Queens, New York, was broadcast in episode 13 of the series, on 31 March 1971. A video recording of the segment is posted through the generosity of Alvin H. Perlmutter, Executive Producer.

A report on the filming may be found here (see the second and third pages of the PDF document). Auden slightly updated the text, revising "A gramophone [or, in some texts, phonograph], a radio" to "A hi-fi, a TV"; "researchers into"to "testers of"; and "five children" to "three children".

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