Spring 1985 • Vol. VII No. 2 Book Reviews |

Technology and Modernism

The Culture of Time and Space: 1880-1918 by Stephen Kern. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1983. 372 pages. $25.00. The Cosmic Web: Scientific Field Models and Literary Strategies in the 20th Century by N. Katherine Hayles. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1984. 208 pages. $19.95. In his seminal essay, "Democratic Vistas," Walt Whitman envisions a native American culture that would have outgrown "feudal" Europe. More various and fluid, even oceanic, this gigantic offspring democracy would be characterized above all by the interfusion of religion and science in a new "kosmical" poetry of the modern. Like a gymnast, the theory of America pivots on a promise of compatibility between the spirit of art and the spirit of technology-or between the unique and the regular. The key to this final balance, suggests Whitman, is a cultivation, not only of "idiocracy," the concrete radiance of the individual person and place, but also of "sway," the gravitation-hold and reticulation o

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The Name of Frailty

By Reed Browning

The Culture of Time and Space: 1880-1918 by Stephen Kern. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1983. 372 pages. $25.00. The Cosmic Web: Scientific Field Models and Literary Strategies in the 20th […]

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