'Feted and reviled in his own lifetime, Marshall McLuhan has made a dramatic comeback in recent years. Marchessault gives a balanced and carefully considered appraisal of McLuhan’s contribution to cultural theory, which may be even more pertinent now, in the early twenty-first century, than when he originally formulated it in the 1950s and ‘60s' Jim McGuigan, Professor of Cultural Analysis, Loughborough University Why is McLuhan important? What use can we make of his approach to the media today? In this insightful critical introduction, McLuhan's contribution is carefully explained and his reputation reassessed. The book: · Explains McLuhan's key ideas · Engages with critical issues in media and contemporary art · Demonstrates the relevance of his work for students of media and communications · Addresses his methodological contribution · Revises our understanding of his place in the history of ideas. Illustrated with many examples from the network society, the book works as a guide to anyone who wants to know why McLuhan is important.
The last word of The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man is ‘time’. There is no other piece of writing in McLuhan's œuvre that is as sensitive to historical shifts and that provides such a rich collage of ideas and patterns of thought. This book, along with The Mechanical Bride, are no doubt McLuhan's best works. Both are formal experiments and insightful examinations of modernity. The Gutenberg Galaxy is equal in complexity to the works of Siegfried Giedion and Harold Innis, to whom he acknowledges a great debt. But McLuhan's greatest influence in this book is Joyce. Alternate titles of The Gutenberg Galaxy were Gutenberg Era and The Road to Finnegans Wake. Like Joyce's book, it was intended as a history of writing ...