Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Alex Goody’s Technology, Literature and Culture published

Monday, 16 May 2011


Dr Alex Goody has recently published a new book entitles Technology, Literature and Culture, which provides a detailed and accessible exploration of the ways in which literature across the twentieth century has represented the inescapable presence and progress of technology. As this study argues, from the Fordist revolution in manufacturing to computers and the internet, technology has reconfigured our relationship to ourselves, each other, and to the tools and material we use. The book considers such key topics as the legacy of late–nineteenth century technology, the literary engagement with cinema and radio, the place of typewriters and computers in formal and thematic literary innovations, the representations of technology in spy fiction and the figures of the robot and the cyborg. It considers the importance of broadcast technology and the internet in literature and covers major literary movements including modernism, cold war writing, postmodernism and the emergence of new textualities at the end of the century. An insightful and wide–ranging study, Technology, Literature and Culture offers close readings of writers such as Virginia Woolf, Samuel Beckett, Ian Fleming, Kurt Vonnegut, Don DeLillo, Jeanette Winterson and Shelley Jackson. It is an invaluable resource for students and scholars alike in literary and cultural studies, and also introduces the topic to a general reader interested in the role of technology in the twentieth century. "From railways to C3 systems, Kipling to Kittler, Alex Goody draws deftly on a remarkable range of examples to chart the modern technological imaginary. She produces a useful and accessible overview of technology′s politico–cultural manifestations and an excellent survey of the theoretical underpinnings of recent scholarly approaches to the field."Debra Rae Cohen, University of South Carolina "This compelling study poses searching questions about modern subjectivities by exploring the intimate relationship between writing and technology. Goody persuasively demonstrates the intricate ways in which technology is embedded in popular and avant–garde culture, from Victorian technologies of electricity and photography to the management, robotic, military and leisure technologies of the twentieth and twenty–first centuries."Martin Halliwell, Professor of American Studies, University of Leicester "From the train crash to the photograph to the typewriter to hypertext, Alex Goody′s deft introduction to technology, literature and culture is as enlightening as it is pleasurable to read. Containing sophisticated arguments linking a range of theorists of technology, including Benjamin, McLuhan, Kittler, Jameson and Haraway, Goody also illuminates the unexpected ways in which nineteenth– and twentieth–century literature interacts with the technological developments of modernity. Whether your primary interest is modernist poetry, cyberpunk, James Bond or death by electrocution, this book has something for you."Pam Thurschwell, University of Sussex