Camera Works by Michael North
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Camera Works
By Michael North

Camera Works

Photography and the Twentieth-Century Word

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Format: Paperback

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Camera Works by Michael North

Book Awards

  • Winner of MSA Book Prize 2006.

Book Description

Camera Works is about the impact of photography and film on modern art and literature. For many artists and writers, these new media offered hope of new means of representation, neither linguistic nor pictorial, but hovering in a kind of utopian space between. At the same time, the new media introduced a dramatic element of novelty into the age-old evidence of the senses. For the avant-garde, the challenges of the new media were the modern in its most concentrated form, but even for aesthetically unadventurous writers they constituted an element of modern experience that could hardly be ignored. Camera Works thus traces some of the more utopian projects of transatlantic avant-garde, including the Readie machine of Bob Brown, which was to turn stories and poems into strips of linguistic film. The influence of photography and film on the avant-garde is traced from the early days of Camera Work, through the enthusiasm of Eugene Jolas and the contributors to his magazine transition, to the crisis created by the introduction of sound in the late 1920's. Subseguent chapters describe the entirely new kind of sensory enjoyment brought into modern American fiction by the new media. What Fitzgerald calls "spectroscopic gayety," the enjoyable diorientation of the senses by machine perception, turns out to be a powerful force in much American fiction. The revolutionary possibilities of this new spectatorship and its limitations are pursued through a number of examples, including Dos Passos, James Weldon Johnson, and Hemingway. Together, these chapters offer a new and substantially different account of the relationship between modern American literature and the mediatized society of the early twentieth century. With a comprehensive introduction and detailed particular readings, Camera Works substantiates a new understanding of the formal and historical bases of modernism. It argues that when modern literature and art respond to modernity, on a formal level, they are responding to the intervention of technology in the transmission of meaning, an intervention that unsettles all the terms in the essential relationship of human consciousness to the world of phenomena.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780195332933
ISBN-10: 0195332938
Format: Paperback
(236mm x 157mm x 15mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 1-May-2008
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Michael North

Baltic by Michael North Baltic, Paperback / softback (October 2016)

From the Vikings to the EU the Baltic has been a Nordic Mediterranean, a shared maritime zone with distinct patterns of trade, cultural exchange, and conflict. Covering a thousand years in a part of the globe where seas are more connective than land, Michael North s overview transforms the way we think about one of the world s great waterways."

Novelty by Michael North Novelty, Hardback (November 2013)

If art and science have one thing in common, it's a hunger for the new - new ideas and innovations, new ways of seeing and depicting the world. The author takes us on a tour of more than two millennia of thinking about the problem of the new, from the puzzles of the pre-Socratics all the way up to the art world of the 1960s and '70s.

Expansion of Europe, 1250 - 1500 by Michael North Expansion of Europe, 1250 - 1500, Paperback (January 2012)

Later medieval Europe saw a great deal of change and expansion of different kinds. This geographically broad textbook explores these events in a series of chapters on the different countries, covering the Holy Roman Empire, East-Central Europe, Scandinavia and Russia. It looks not only at political history but also at economy, society and culture.

» View all books by Michael North


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Author Biography - Michael North

Michael North is Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. His books include The Waste Land: A Norton Critical Edition (ed.), Reading 1922: A Return to the Scene of the Modern, and The Dialect of ModernismL Race, Language, and Twentieth-Century Literature.

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