Leonardo: Virtual Modernism


biers_virtual coverAt the crossroads of media studies and American studies, but also of philosophy and cultural history, this book offers a highly innovative and dramatically inspiring close-reading of the way in which five major American modernists, namely Stephen Crane, Henry James, James Weldon Johnson, Djuna Barnes, and Gertrude Stein, developed new ways of writing in response to mass culture and the new (media) technologies that reshaped American culture in the pre World-War I years. Biers' book, however, is less a study of these authors' resistance to mass culture or their creative reappropriation of it than an in-depth reflection on the way in which they reinvented literature to explore the fundamental philosophical and cultural issue of these years: the notion of virtual experience, a notion strongly related to the success of vitalist and pragmatic philosophy in the early 20th Century.

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