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Charles Dickens in Cyberspace: The Afterlife of the Nineteenth Century in Postmodern Culture Paperback – November 12, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0195313260 ISBN-10: 0195313267

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (November 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195313267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195313260
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,002,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Comprising a dazzling array of textual readings, ranging from contemporary novels to films to hypertexts, Clayton maps a new theoretical approach...he offers a model for a historical cultural studies that opens a path out of the quagmire in which the field often finds itself today...Clayton's book offers the theoretical breakthrough for which many scholars have been waiting...This impressive and challenging work is a must-read for any scholar interested in cultural studies. It should not be overlooked."--Postmillenial Victorian Studies


"This is the really cheering and impressive thing about his book, Professor Clayton is clearly a "believer" when it comes to the marriage of history, cultural studies and postmodernism. Charles Dickens in Cyberspace is not a primer or a polemical work, but something richer and rarer: a work that itself embodies the ideals expressed by its author. ...it will come to be seen as an important work... And, as befits a book skeptical of intellectual labels and so generous in its approach to differnt disciplines, Charles Dickens in Cyberspace will repay the attention of anybody with an interest in the nineteenth century."--Dickens Quarterly


"In his highly original and somewhat unconventional new book, Jay Clayton calls for a cultural studies that foregrounds historical inquiry.... [A] brilliantly argued, thoroughly researched, and highly original book.... It makes a significant contribution to an emergent strain in cultural-studies discourse, helps launch and sustain a mode of inquiry that is crucial to our cultural future, one that we as humanists cannot afford to ignore."--Victorian Studies


"It has the buzz of intellectual excitement at a comparatively new juncture in cultural studies.... And, as befits a book so skeptical of intellectual labels and so generous in its approach to different disciplines, Charles Dickens in Cyberspace will repay the attention of anybody with an interest in the nineteenth century."--Dickens Quarterly


"This is a wonderful book. Jay Clayton moves deftly between the Victorian era and the present day, between literature and science, popular culture and post-modern thinkers. This important study raises some profound questions about the relationship between literary study and cultural theory, and will ensure that all of us who consider ourselves cultural historians will ponder deeply about the implications of our practices."--Kate Flint, Rutgers University


"In this landmark study, postmodernity's final break with the Enlightenment is prefigured across the uneven disciplinary development of nineteenth-century technoculture, from telegraphy and automata through Darwinian anticipations of 'genome time.' Anchored in a brimming crosscurrent of literary detail and buoyed by a venturesome narrative prose of its own, this blithely original book defends the explanatory powers of lived anachronism against the death-of-history school. Resisting utopian futurism in his broad new program for cultural studies, Clayton has achieved in the process a work of utopian historicism. The Victorian moment is ours again."--Garrett Stewart, University of Iowa


About the Author


Jay Clayton is Professor of English at Vanderbilt University.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book shows such smarts and is such fun that I've been talking it up to every reader I know. Anyone interested in Cultural Studies or the nineteenth century novel will want this book (in fact, they might already have it, because the advance word on it has been good), but it will undoubtedly appeal to a larger audience, too. Jay Clayton demonstrates a familiarity with a wide array of further fields: communications technology, genetics, science fiction, film, and contemporary literature. Readers interested in any of these subjects will find that the historical parallels and hidden connections Clayton establishes between them are both unexpected and absorbing. What's more, Clayton can write. This is not a book choked by jargon or made ponderous by clumsy language. Here is a learned author who explains himself with gusto and grace.
Clayton's book combines several propositions. First, that contemporary studies of American culture are essentially amnesiac and could only benefit from some historical perspective. Second, that the tendency towards emotional affirmation and homemade mysticism which characterizes our multicultural age is in many ways analogous to the Romantic era's reaction against the hyper-rationality of the Enlightenment. Third, that the enormous divide between the Humanities and the Sciences, which originally opened in the early years of the Victorian era, is now closing again as today's Information Technology blurs disciplinary distinctions and promotes cross-pollination between discreet endeavors. Clayton argues convincingly on all three points, and he weaves his several theses together to reveal how our postmodern complexities have antecedents in an earlier age.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Who knew that Victorian science was populated with such unruly characters or that postmodernism could herald the convergence of the two cultures? Here is a critic who is unafraid to write with gusto about today's return to literature and who understands the ways of both novelists and hackers. I enjoyed the acount of Charles Babbage beside William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, Neal Stevenson with Charles Dickens.
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