Shifting Gears

Shifting Gears

Technology, Literature, Culture in Modernist America

Book - 1987
Rate this:
Shifting Gears is a richly illustrated exploration of the American era of gear-and-girder technology. From the 1890s to the 1920s machines and structures shaped by this technology emerged in many forms, from automobiles and harvesting machines to bridges and skyscrapers. The most casual onlooker to American life saw examples of the new technology on Main Street, on the local railway platform, and in the pages of popular magazines.



A major consequence of this technology was its effect on the arts, in particular the literary arts. Three prominent American writers of the time -- Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, and William Carlos Williams -- became designer-engineers of the word. Tichi reveals their use of prefabricated, manufactured components in poems and prose. As designers, they enacted in style and structure the new technological values. The writers, according to Tichi, thought of words themselves as objects for assembly into a design.



Using materials from magazines, popular novels , movie reviews, the toy industry, and advertising, as well as the texts of the nation's major enduring writers, Tichi shows how turn-of-the-century technology pervaded every aspect of American culture and how this culture could be defined as a collaborative effort of the engineer, the architect, the fiction writer, and the poet. She demonstrates that a technological revolution is not a revolution only of science but of language as well.



Originally published in 1987.



A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.

Publisher: Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c1987
ISBN: 9780807841679
0807841676
9780807817155
0807817155
Characteristics: xvi, 310 p. : ill. ; 26 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at MPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top