James Joyce's Techno-Poetics

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James Joyce's Techno-Poetics is on the cutting edge of an original and exciting new trend in Joycean studies, as it combines the study of literature, technology, and communication to reveal James Joyce as 'a key figure in the history of cyberculture.'

Donald Theall examines for the first time how Joyce conceived of the artist as an engineer and the artist's works as constructions, and reveals the importance of Joyce's understanding of the direction of a developing technoculture. Theall explores the interrelationships between the machinic and the processes of encoding, decoding, reading, writing, and interpreting in Joyce's self-reflexive treatment of the book in Finnegans Wake. By situating this project in relation to memory and cultural production, Theall argues that Joyce's radical paramodern poetic practice has important implications for a wide variety of subsequent cultural and theoretical movements: dramatism, poststructuralism, semiology, and hypertextuality. Theall places Joyce in the context of other modern thinkers, such as Benjamin and Bataille, and draws a direct line of influence from Joyce to Marshall McLuhan and Neuromancer author William Gibson.

This is a remarkable and innovative work that makes an important contribution not only to Joycean studies, but to literary theory, modernism, cultural analysis, the history of ideas, and the relationship between literature, science, and technology.

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Editorial Reviews

Combining the study of literature, technology, and communication, Theall Trent U. reveals Joyce as a paramodern whose work has influenced cultural and theoretical movements such as dramatism, poststructuralism, semiology, and hypertextuality. He examines how Joyce conceived of the artist as an engineer and the artist's works as constructions, and explores the interrelationships between the machanics and the processes of encoding, decoding, reading, writing, and interpreting Joyce's self-reflexive treatment of the book in "Finnegan's Wake". Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802009685
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
  • Publication date: 6/28/1997
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.31 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald F. Theall was Molson Professor at McGill University before becoming President and Vice-Chancellor of Trent University (1980-87) where he is now Professor Emeritus.
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Table of Contents

Abbreviations and Reference Style
1 James Joyce and the 'Modern': Machines, Media and the Mimetic 3
2 Art as Vivisection: The Encyclopaedic Mechanics and Menippean Satire 16
3 Electro-Mechanization, Communication, and the Poet as Engineer 30
4 Singing the Electro-Mechano-Chemical Body 50
5 Books, Machines, and Processes of Production and Consumption 62
6 The Machinic Maze of Mimesis: The Labyrinthine Dance of Mind and Machine 73
7 Mimicry, Memory, Mummery, and the Multiplying of Media 87
8 Secularizing the Sacred: The Art of Profane Illumination 103
9 Assembling and Tailoring a Modern Hermetic Techno-Cultural Allegory 117
10 The Rhythmatick of Our Eternal Geomater 130
11 The New Techno-Culture of Space-Time 142
12 Cultural Production and the Dynamic Mechanics of Quanta and the Chaosmos 154
13 The Relativities of Light, Colour, and Sensory Perception 169
14 Conclusion 184
Notes 197
Bibliography 227
Index 239
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