By Mark Seltzer
A unique exam of the body-machine complicated and its results at the glossy American cultural mind's eye, exploring more than a few realist and naturalist writings from Hawthorne and Henry James to scouting manuals and industrially produced tradition.
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Extra resources for Bodies and Machines
In his popular history of California, The Sunset Land (1870), for instance, the Reverend John Todd, a minister who also wrote student manuals governing sexual behavior, contrasts mining, which he calls "the unnatural creation of property" to the more natural creations of agriculture. " Todd may be confusing the miner's sieve, called a cradle, with the infant's cradle, but the confusion itself is perhaps significant. (Todd, we may note, officiated at what was called the "wedding" of track that formed the first transcontinental railroad, and thereafter wore a wedding ring made from the gold of the linking "golden spike.
In the next chapter I will be focusing on the formation of disciplinary individuals and "statistical persons. " Here I am interested in what these tensions between market and machine measures of persons look like and, more precisely, in what the "survivals" of market culture in machine culture look like. " Hence I want to begin this chapter by examining these differ ent senses of the individuality of the individual and by examining how they are in effect set in motion and also in communication and collaboration in consumer society.
229) Vandover explicitly sees this "death" of his art as an abortion, or as the " death of a child of his," and the agent of death or abortion, this midwife or witch-mother, is the very brute gestating within him. The monstrous gestation of the brute is at the same time an obstetrics-in reverse. Not merely does Vandover's sketch resemble that of a child learning to draw, but his degradation is literally a reversed generation. The growth of the brute is also a return to the scene of birth-"he had become a little child again .