Stephen Kern writes about the sweeping changes in technology and culture between 1880 and World War I that created new modes of understanding and experiencing time and space. To mark the book's twentieth anniversary, Kern provides an illuminating new preface about the breakthrough in interpretive approach that has made this a seminal work in interdisciplinary studies.
THIS EDITION HAS BEEN REPLACED BY A NEWER EDITION From about 1880 to World War I, sweeping changes in technology and culture created new modes of understanding and experiencing time and space. Stephen Kern writes about the onrush of technics that reshaped life concretely--telephone, electric lighting, steamship, skyscraper, bicycle, cinema, plane, x-ray, machine gun-and the cultural innovations that shattered older forms of art and thought--the stream-of-consciousness novel, psychoanalysis, Cubism, simultaneous poetry, relativity, and the introduction of world standard time. Kern interprets this generation's revolutionized sense of past, present, and future, and of form, distance, and direction. This overview includes such figures as Proust Joyce, Mann, Wells, Gertrude Stein, Strindberg, Freud, Husserl, Apollinaire, Conrad, Picasso, and Einstein, as well as diverse sources of popular culture drawn from journals, newspapers, and magazines. It also treats new developments in personal and social relations including scientific management, assembly lines, urbanism, imperialism, and trench warfare. While exploring transformed spatial-temporal dimensions, the book focuses on the way new sensibilities subverted traditional values. Kern identifies a broad leveling of cultural hierarchies such as the Cubist breakdown of the conventional distinction between the prominent subject and the framing background, and he argues that these levelings parallel the challenge to aristocratic society, the rise of democracy, and the death of God. This entire reworking of time and space is shown finally to have influenced the conduct of diplomacy during the crisis of July 1914 and to havestructured the Cubist war that followed.
Many of us take for granted that what we perceive is a completely accurate representation of the world around us. Yet we have all had the experience of suddenly realizing that the keys or glasses that we had been looking for in vain were right in front of us the whole time. The capacity of our sense organs far exceeds our mental capabilities, and as such, looking at something does not guarantee that we will notice it. Our minds constantly prioritize and organize the information we take in, bringing certain things to the foreground, while letting others - that which we deem irrelevant - recede into the background. What ultimately determines what we perceive, and what we do not? In this fascinating book, noted sociologist Eviatar Zerubavel argues that we perceive things not just as human beings but as social beings. Drawing on fascinating examples from science, the art world, optical illusions, and all walks of life, he shows that what we notice or ignore varies across cultures and throughout history, and illustrates how our environment and our social lives - everything from our lifestyles to our professions to our nationalities - play a role in determining how we actually use our senses to access the world. A subtle yet powerful examination of one of the central features of our conscious life, this book offers a way to think about all that might otherwise remain hidden in plain sight.
Time and space are two of the most basic dimensions of human life. They envelop all human beings from birth to death. As such, they provide the context for human existence. At the same time, however, time and space also serve as major influencing factors in mankind's actions. Hence, a vast literature has developed on time and space as separate dimensions, and recently on time-space as joint dimensions. Interestingly enough, the social connotations of time and space have mostly been studied with the individual human being in mind. The more societal significance of time and space, whether separately or jointly, have been relatively neglected. It is the purpose of this volume to help fill this lacuna through discussions on some of the many junctions of time, space, and society at large. The discussion will naturally involve concepts and findings from more than just one discipline -- notably, geography, sociology, social history and political science. It is, thus, obvious that the topic may be highlighted from several perspectives. Given my own education and work, the approach will lean more to the geographical perspective. Geography has a special merit as an integrating framework for the study of time, space, and society. It is a discipline that has space at the center of its raison d'etre and, as such, has always striven for integration, holism and comprehensiveness.
"John Tomlinson's book is an invitation to an adventure. It contains a precious key to unlock the doors into the unmapped and unexplored cultural and ethical condition of 'immediacy'. Without this key concept from now on it will not be possible to make sense of the social existence of our times and its ambivalences." - Ulrich Beck, University of Munich "A most welcome, stimulating and challenging exploration of the cultural impact and significance of speed in advanced modern societies. It successfully interweaves theoretical discourse, historical and contemporary analyses and imaginative use of literary sources, all of which are mobilised in order to provide an original, intellectually rewarding and critical account of the changing significance of speed in our everyday experience." - David Frisby, London School of Economics and Political Science Is the pace of life accelerating? If so, what are the cultural, social, personal and economic consequences? This stimulating and accessible book examines how speed emerged as a cultural issue during industrial modernity. The rise of capitalist society and the shift to urban settings was rapid and tumultuous and was defined by the belief in 'progress'. The first obstacle faced by societies that were starting to 'speed up' was how to regulate and control the process. The attempt to regulate the acceleration of life created a new set of problems, namely the way in which speed escapes regulation and rebels against controls. This pattern of acceleration and control subsequently defined debates about the cultural effects of acceleration. However, in the 21st century 'immediacy', the combination of fast capitalism and the saturation of the everyday by media technologies, has emerged as the core feature of control. This coming of immediacy will inexorably change how we think about and experience media culture, consumption practices, and the core of our cultural and moral values. Incisive and richly illustrated, this eye-opening account of speed and culture provides an original guide to one of the central features of contemporary culture and everyday life.
There are several characteristics of Nathan Rotenstreich's work which are striking: his thoughtful writings are both subtle and deep; they are steeped in his critical appreciation of other thinkers of this and preceding times, an appreciation which is formed by his learned understanding of the history of philosophy; and with all this, he has an original and independent intelligence. He has from time to time brought his skills to bear upon historical scholarship, most notably perhaps in his book Between Past and Present (1958, 2nd edition, 1973), his interpretive essays in the philosophy of history Philosophy, History and Politics (1976) and his scholarly work concerned with the influence of historical development upon modern Jewish thought, Tradition and Reality (1972). Related to these, and equally works of that philosophical humanity which Professor Rotenstreich embodies, are his Humanism in the Contemporary Era (1963), Spirit and Man: An Essay on Being and Value (1963) and Reflection and Action (1983). Rotenstreich combines both the naturalistic and the phenomenological attitudes in an interesting and illuminating way through the full spectrum of issues in the philosophy of history in this century. Surely he sets boundaries to any doubtful extrapolation. Not only would he bring the understanding of history back from those who claim it as only a positive science but equally would he prevent the transformation of that understanding into merely speculative inquiry.
Victorian Time examines how literature of the era registers the psychological impact of the onset of a modern, industrialized experience of time as time-saving technologies, such as steam-powered machinery, aimed at making economic life more efficient, signalling the dawn of a new age of accelerated time.
On the surface, "wartime" is a period of time in which a society is at war. But we now live in what President Obama has called "an age without surrender ceremonies," where it is no longer easy to distinguish between times of war and times of peace. In this inventive meditation on war, time, and the law, Mary Dudziak argues that wartime is not as discrete a time period as we like to think. Instead, America has been engaged in some form of ongoing overseas armed conflict for over a century. Meanwhile policy makers and the American public continue to view wars as exceptional events that eventually give way to normal peace times. This has two consequences: first, because war is thought to be exceptional, "wartime" remains a shorthand argument justifying extreme actions like torture and detention without trial; and second, ongoing warfare is enabled by the inattention of the American people. More disconnected than ever from the wars their nation is fighting, public disengagement leaves us without political restraints on the exercise of American war powers.
Modernism and the Architecture of Private Life offers a bold new assessment of the role of the domestic sphere in modernist literature, architecture, and design. Elegantly synthesizing modernist literature with architectural plans, room designs, and decorative art, Victoria Rosner's work explores the collaborations among modern British writers, interior designers, and architects in redefining the form, function, and meaning of middle-class private life. Drawing on a host of previously unexamined archival sources and works by figures such as E. M. Forster, Roger Fry, Oscar Wilde, James McNeill Whistler, and Virginia Woolf, Rosner highlights the participation of modernist literature in the creation of an experimental, embodied, and unstructured private life, which we continue to characterize as "modern."
What does music have to say about modernity? How can this apparently unworldly art tell us anything about modern life? In Out of Time, author Julian Johnson begins from the idea that it can, arguing that music renders an account of modernity from the inside, a history not of events but of sensibility, an archaeology of experience. If music is better understood from this broad perspective, our idea of modernity itself is also enriched by the specific insights of music. The result is a rehearing of modernity and a rethinking of music - an account that challenges ideas of linear progress and reconsiders the common concerns of music, old and new. If all music since 1600 is modern music, the similarities between Monteverdi and Schoenberg, Bach and Stravinsky, or Beethoven and Boulez, become far more significant than their obvious differences. Johnson elaborates this idea in relation to three related areas of experience - temporality, history and memory; space, place and technology; language, the body, and sound. Criss-crossing four centuries of Western culture, he moves between close readings of diverse musical examples (from the madrigal to electronic music) and drawing on the history of science and technology, literature, art, philosophy, and geography. Against the grain of chronology and the usual divisions of music history, Johnson proposes profound connections between musical works from quite different times and places. The multiple lines of the resulting map, similar to those of the London Underground, produce a bewildering network of plural connections, joining Stockhausen to Galileo, music printing to sound recording, the industrial revolution to motivic development, steam trains to waltzes. A significant and groundbreaking work, Out of Time is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of music and modernity.