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Machine and Metaphor
Machine and Metaphor
πŸ“– Book - PDF

Machine and Metaphor

The Ethics of Language in American Realism
Jennifer C. Cook
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128 pages
language
English
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πŸ“– Book - PDF

Machine and Metaphor

The Ethics of Language in American Realism
Jennifer C. Cook
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About This Book

American literary realism burgeoned during a period of tremendous technological innovation. Because the realists evinced not only a fascination with this new technology but also an ethos that seems to align itself with science, many have paired the two fields rather unproblematically. But this book demonstrates that many realist writers, from Mark Twain to Stephen Crane, Charles W. Chesnutt to Edith Wharton, felt a great deal of anxiety about the advent of new technologies – precisely at the crucial intersection of ethics and language. For these writers, the communication revolution was a troubling phenomenon, not only because of the ways in which the new machines had changed and increased the circulation of language but, more pointedly, because of the ways in which language itself had effectively become a machine: a vehicle perpetuating some of society's most pernicious clichΓ©s and stereotypes – particularly stereotypes of race – in unthinking iteration. This work takes a close look at how the realists tried to forge an ethical position between the two poles of science and sentimentality, attempting to create an alternative mode of speech that, avoiding the trap of codifying iteration, could enable ethical action.

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Information

Publisher
Taylor and Francis
Year
2006
ISBN
9781135866266
Topic
Literature
Subtopic
Literary Criticism
Edition
1

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