Orinoco Flow: Culture, Narrative, and the Political Economy of Information / Edition 224

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"Let me sail, let me sail, let the orinoco flow," sings Enya. Soon, like her, we find ourselves on an extraordinary voyage to the heart of the famed Rio Orinoco with intrepid quester Keith Belton. Through the use of narrative analysis, Belton explores the production of cultural knowledge about Venezuela's Orinoco River—the second largest in the Neotropics and the third largest in the world—and surrounding environs. Beginning with the earliest images of America from the voyages of Columbus, he examines how scientific, academic and novelistic discourse on the Orinoco has engendered a chronologically layered archive (a prime source of information for cultural elites) and a repository of images and impressions (its topos). At the same time, he considers how the rise of mercantilism and globalism has shaped the organization and distribution of both archive and topos. If you have ever wondered how cultural knowledge has emerged historically, and in particular how it relates to larger changes in the political economy of information, then you must come "sail away, sail away, sail away" with Orinoco Flow.

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Editorial Reviews

Public Libraries
A "narrative analysis" of the production of cultural knowledge of the Orinoco River in Venezuela, with emphasis on the creation of an archive and "topos" (collections of images and impressions).
Education Libraries
The extensive bibliography would be useful to students seeking a range of information on the Orinoco area....Even if the answer to Belton's question, 'What are the narrative relationships among the development of capitalism, culture, and regional space?' would not cause you to lose sleep, you might find this unique book an interesting read.
The Library Quarterly
Belton's book is a significant contribution to the field of LIS, and his multidisciplinary approach illustrates how political, economic, and historical strata of place can be linked with conceptual elements in areas such as travel, literature, history, and philosophy. Because this book intersects other areas of knowledge, it reinforces the position of LIS as an interdisciplinary field of study....The flowing, frequently conversational tone easily engages the reader, which will be a welcome quality for readers who might ordinarily avoid works with a strong theoretical orientation....Belton's book is especially significant to LIS during a time of definition and growth because his analysis locates information studies within the encompassing cultural universe and indicates potential directions for other studies to follow.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810848313
  • Publisher: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/15/2003
  • Edition description: 6/9/2006 08:04:58:217
  • Edition number: 224
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Benjamin Keith Belton earned his PhD in Culture, History and Theory from Emory University. He is currently Assistant Professor at the School of Information Studies, Florida State University.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Culture, Space, and World Systems 1
Ch. 2 Foundations: Discovery and Description 21
Ch. 3 Literary Implantations: Mercantilism, Behn, and Defoe 55
Ch. 4 In-Forming Humboldt: Tropes and Tropics in Scientific Narrative 79
Ch. 5 The City of Letters: Planning and the Culture of Modernism 105
Ch. 6 Globalization and the Ethics of Narrative 147
Bibliography 193
Index 213
About the Author 219
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