Mark Goble, “Beautiful Circuits”

2010

In this text, Mark Goble argues that modernism “encouraged a unique structure of feeling toward the technologies of art and literature – in all the specificity of their material aesthetics – which survives and flourishes as a feeling for technology in general” 25. We experienced a feverish intensifying feeling toward how and how much we used technology in everyday life, and it has lasted.

Henry James: “the compulsive indirectness that James identifies as his method – and also his sense that this indirectness is in actuality direct, straight, and the guarantor of a phenomenal immediacy – represents more than a leap of critical fancy” 39. “What James considers the major insight behind his favored ‘mode of treatment’ – that is, the discovery that the most circuitous may be experienced as the most immediate – applies with equal salience to almost everything that happens to the characters he depicts” 40. [see my entry on The Ambassadors!] Mediation – all the letters and telegrams from Mrs. Newsome – is a fantasy of connection James is interested in. This delay is doubled, since it takes a while for them to arrive and then they are not revealed to the reader for a length of time. [Could this have something to do with the sense/sensibility divide I want to set up in that novel?]

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