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Technology Boon Or Bane Pdf Download



MLR, I03.4, 2008 I I I5 and thorough examination ofwhat Hopkins wrote about the subject of prosody, and it makes a set ofvalid points about the importance of sound inHopkins's ideas ofpoetry. NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY R. K. R. THORNTON Science and Technology in the Age ofHawthorne, Melville, Twain, and_James:Thinking andWriting Electricity. By SAM HALLIDAY. (American Literature Readings in the 2ISt Century) Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 2007. xiii + 245 pp. ?40. ISBN 978-1-4039-7672-7. Sam Halliday's book explores cultural,mainly literary, appropriations of scientificand technological language, concepts, andmaterials ofmid nineteenth- to early twentieth centuryAnglo-America. Much of thebook's schema hinges on itssubtitle, 'Thinking andWriting Electricity', which describes electricity as both an object of investiga tion and ameans bywhich that investigation takes place. This cultural dichotomy is grounded in scientific and technological developments of the period, which ithelps to illuminate. To orient us amid these back-and-forths, Halliday provides an array of cultural reference-points.Apart from its titularauthors Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, and James, the book engages with Henry Adams, Whitman, Bierce, Emerson, Poe, Dana, Holmes, Hardy, Kipling, and a vast network of cultural theorists, physicians, psychologists, scientists, entrepreneurs, jurists, and politicians. Throughout, electricity is shown asmetaphor, model, and substance of our ideas, able to foster new intimacies and revise notions of the social or the personal. The telegraph, for instance, becomes amethod ofmechanical production and reproduc tion of ideas, but one inwhich individuality itself might be replicated. In something of a departure fromBenjamin's analysis of the effectsofmechanical reproduction, Halliday demonstrates how a 'locus' or 'aura' of individuality endures bymoving to new registers. He provides a fascinating account of how themore adept telegraph operators, through a kind of 'physiognomic logic', apperceived the idiosyncratic machinations of their fellow experts across great distances. Halliday thus explores how nineteenth-century communications technologies fostered an unexpected inter personal communicative transparency, but he also shows how theygave rise to new kinds of blindness and misrepresentation. He shows how the telegraph, and later the telephone, brought people together in a hitherto unknown co-presence, but also facilitated new miscommunications, allowing thedeceptions of language tobe newly instantaneous and transcontinental. Like other similar investigations of theperiod, Halliday's work characterizes tech nological innovations as alternately both boon and bane. He evokes the boosterist optimism ofmany who felt these new technologies would solve all global and inter personal conflicts. He counters this optimism with discussions of how writers like Adams and Twain responded to the new law of thermodynamics, which seemed to undermine ideas of universal progress. Later other pessimistic voices arise, such as Mary Moss, George Miller Beard, and others who felt that the technological anni hilations of time and space and this new heightened level of activitywere leading to increased nervousness, debility, and other ills. Halliday keenly contextualizes these concerns within a vast array ofworks. Like a network of telegraph cables and telephone wires criss-crossing throughHawthorne, Melville, Twain, James, and others, Halliday's book repeatedly shows how electric currents include and exclude, connect and divide these authors' characters aswell as non-fictional societies and individuals. LONDON CONSORTIUM LEE SCRIVNER ...




Technology Boon Or Bane Pdf Download


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