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REVIEWS electronic media and the condition ofprint in the age ofits technological obsolescence . Among the texts reprinted are Jean-Marie Guyau's "Memory and Phonograph " (1880), Martin Heidegger's lecture on the hand and the typewriter (194243 ), Rainer Maria Rilke's "Primal Sound" (1919), Maurice Renard's "Death and the Shell" (1907), Salomo Friedlaender's "Goethe Speaks Into the Phonograph" (1916) and "Fata Morgana Machine" (ca. 1920), Richard A. Bermann's "Lyre and Typewriter" (1913), and Carl Schmitt's "The Buribunks: A Historico-Philosophical Meditation" (1918). Each ofthese selections provides Kittler with the opportunity to reflect on the responses of these thinkers to the new technologies as well as to provide a history ofthe technologies themselves. Even ifthe sections begin with introductions to the technology in question, they are far from mere chronologies of historical advances in technology; rather they are more like free-associations. While Kittler's thesis is timely and intriguing, his defense of it is, at times, exasperating. He moves from idea to idea, thinker to thinker, at will—a movement exacerbated by his extraordinary range: he is just as comfortable discussing Kafka and Goethe as a Zilog Z80 microprocessor or the music of Laurie Anderson and Pink Floyd. To read this book is to take a wild ride through philosophy, music, the visual arts, popular culture, engineering, psychoanalysis, the history of science, literature, communication studies, film studies, and more. But, somehow, Kittler pulls it off. By the end, he will have you completely deprogrammed and believing that media do determine our situation. Even the pioneering analyses of Ulmer, Landow, and Poster pale in comparison to Kittler's compelling account ofthe relationship between (post)structuralism and the new media technologies. Gramophone, Film, Typewriter is worth reading solely for its rich stories and anecdotes. For example, Kittler argues that Nietzsche's later aphoristic style is connected to his introduction to the typewriter: Nietzsche had to abandon sustained argumentation and reflection in prose when he began using Mailing Hansen's writing ball. Nietzsche himselfrecognized the way in which media technology was altering both writing and thinking. "Our writing tools," he observed, "are also working on our thoughts" (200). Kittler's book is replete with similar gems. This book belongs on any reading list in media studies, and should be essential for anyone interested in the intersections ofcomparative literature, literary theory, and media studies. Gramophone, Film, Typewriter is a stunning achievement, even ifthe technological determinism at its center will disturb many. Kittler's claim that media determine theory is bold, and deserves serious consideration. If many believed Derrida that "il n'y a pas de hors-texte," then they should be equally taken by the claim of media discourse analysis: "il n'y a pas de hors-media." I highly recommend this book to all comparatists interested in critical theory. Jeffrey R. DiLeoUniversity ofIllinois at Chicago ROBERT ELLWOOD. The Politics ofMyth: A Study ofC. G. Jung, Mircea Eliade, andJoseph Campbell Albany: SUNY Press, 1999. xiv + 207 pp. In the field of comparative literature, myth criticism has undergone a number of changes, with a series ofhigh and low points. These points may have coincided, in the 1960s or the 1970s, with an accrued general interest in Jungian (or postJungian ) approaches to literature and art. Critics who sought a systematized collection ofmythical material may also have found valuable information in the works of Mircea Eliade or Joseph Campbell. Although popular involvement in "new" VcH. 25 (2001): 178 ??? COHPAnATIST forms of spirituality stimulated general interest in myths, it also triggered a more negative view from scholars who defended literary criticism as a scientific activity. For them, analyzing myths seemed to belong to different ways ofthinking (sometimes hard to accept)—ones more directed toward metaphor and toward finding a unity underlying differences and differentiation. Myth criticism also aimed at accepting and experiencing the famous coincidence ofopposites, a stance difficult to hold in a more linear framework ofcritical discourse. Yet whatever the reservations of the critics with regard to myth, those in need of solid material and models of thinking could not bypass Jung, Eliade, and Campbell. In this respect, Robert Ellwood's 7%e Politics ofMyth appears to be a useful and necessary step...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-0887
Print ISSN
0195-7678
Pages
pp. 178-180
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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