Leonardo Reviews: The Perversity of Things

By Jan Baetens
Leonardo Reviews

The Perversity of Things (Hugo Gernsback)The quality of Wythoff's editorial work is outstanding, and it is well served by the clever typographical presentation of the book, pleasant to read, well indexed, and nicely illustrated. Thanks to this work, it should be possible to reframe the figure of Gernsback, whose role cannot be reduced to that of a somewhat old-fashioned forerunner of a literary genre that has moved eventually moved away from the "hard technology" side it had in the beginning, when one of the aims of the stories was not to create new story worlds but to fictionally demonstrate how certain things actually worked. There is a lot of McLuhan in Gernsback, and it is to media studies and media archeology that his life and work really belong.

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