By Mark Goble
Considering texts by means of Henry James, Gertrude Stein, James Weldon Johnson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, James Agee, and William Carlos Williams, along movie, portray, song, and pop culture, Mark Goble explores the improvement of yank modernism because it was once formed by way of its reaction to know-how and an try to swap how literature itself may possibly communicate.
Goble's unique readings reinterpret the aesthetics of modernism within the early 20th century, while new modes of verbal exchange made the adventure of expertise an celebration for profound experimentation and mirrored image. He follows the assimilation of such "old" media applied sciences because the telegraph, mobilephone, and phonograph and their position in inspiring fantasies of connection, which proficient a dedication to the materiality of inventive mediums. Describing how relationships made attainable by expertise turned extra powerfully skilled with know-how, Goble explores a modernist fetish for media that indicates no symptoms of abating. The "mediated existence" places expertise into communique with a chain of shifts in how american citizens conceive the mechanics and meanings in their connections to each other, and for that reason to the realm and to their very own modernity.
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Extra info for Beautiful circuits : modernism and the mediated life
S. culture in the years from the turn of the twentieth century to World War II as a period when the once new media of the telegraph, telephone, phonograph, and cinema were becoming as pervasive and commonplace as television and computers seem to us today. indb 13 8/17/10 10:41 AM Introduction presence. ”47 He sees a “diverse ecology of devices and platforms, most of which have nothing to do with ‘computers’ as we’ve understood them,” and the resulting technological experience will be a distributed phenomenon “where the power and meaning we ascribe to it are more a property of the network than of any single node, and that network is effectively invisible.
What James defines as romance is really not defined at all so much as it is associated with the inescapably mediated and “circuitous” workings of desire itself. But our inability to know the “things” of romance in a direct and transparent fashion does not lessen their value nor render their effects trivial or immaterial. James makes no obvious reference to any medium here, but as we shall see in chapter 1, his late novels are marked by a devotion to a staggering variety of “circuits” between characters that fixate on media technologies to dramatize and figure what might be called the romance of modern life, which becomes oddly equivalent to the romance of reading James’s fiction.
16 It is as though throughout the novels of the major phase, communication and a range of behaviors that should stand for radical, even hostile alternatives to communication, are experienced as effectively identical, as little more than different ways of doing the work involved in connecting one person to another. As with many of James’s pronouncements on the novel, both formal and informal, his operating instructions for The Ambassadors show a relative disregard for fiction that sets out to communicate too straightforwardly.
Beautiful circuits : modernism and the mediated life by Mark Goble