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Simon Zoltán

The Double Edged Sword:The Technological Sublime in American Novels between 1900 and 1940

As David E. Nye argues, the technological sublime, a simultaneous awe and fear of technology, has been "a preferred American trope through two centuries" (American Technological Sublime 281). This examination of American novels from the period between 1900 and 1940 has the goal of tracing the literary treatment of this phenomenon in selected representative texts in a crucial period. The American technological sublime is a construct that can be useful in understanding the often conflicted and ambivalent reactions of enthusiasm and anxiety, exaltation and depression associated with the patterns of development experienced in the United States in this transitory period.  The first four decades of the twentieth century saw the culmination of the technological sublime in America: the loss of the by and large innocently one-sided enthusiasm and technological republicanism of the nineteenth century to a fragmented, often paranoiac, and largely pessimistic vision of technology that became dominant of the literature after World War II. After a survey and evaluation of earlier scholarship on the American technological sublime by Perry Miller, Leo Marx, John Kasson, and David E. Nye, the bulk of this study examines four important decades in the development of the American technological sublime and some of the literary responses to it from the perspective of what could be considered as the four most significant areas of technological development in this period: the sublime of factory production, the sublime of military destruction, the sublime of (auto)mobility, and the sublime of aviation. Texts discussed include Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, Sherwood Anderson's Poor White and Perhaps Women, John Dos Passos's, One Man's Initiation-1917 and Three Soldiers, Sinclair Lewis's Babbitt and The Trail of the Hawk, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, and William Faulkner's Pylon. The study concludes by briefly considering the ways in which Modernist technological awareness prepared the way for Postmodern writing and its unique relationship with technology.

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  • Oldalszám: 114
  • Formátum: B5_01
  • Borító típusa: kartonalt
  • ISBN: 9630580624
  • Cikk kód: 4000001949
  • Kiadás éve: 2003