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Record identifier : 567891
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Gladstone, Jason
Title and statement of responsibility : Lines in the dirt: (American) postmodernism and the failure of technology [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : The Johns Hopkins University, 2007
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D.
Body granting the degree : , The Johns Hopkins University
Summary or Abstract : What it means to make a line on the earth and, more specifically, what the difference is between inscribed lines---like the Mason-Dixon line---and "naturally drawn" lines---such as "coastlines, ridge tops, [and] river banks"---is the central question of Thomas Pynchon's 1997 novel, Mason & Dixon . Although in the first place this is a question about the difference between man-made lines and natural ones, insofar as both types of lines are understood as "texts," the real question is whether there is any significant difference at all. And this problem---in the more general form of the relation of the cultural to the natural---is in no way limited to Mason & Dixon . It is, in fact, central to a number of other major literary and non-literary works of the contemporary period---not only Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow , but also Jacques Derrida's Of Grammatology , and the earthworks and writings of Robert Smithson and Michael Heizer. Indeed, it might be said more generally to be central to the phenomenon of postmodernism, or at least to the canonized accounts that describe postmodernism as the critique of the natural. The point of "Lines in the Dirt," however, is to challenge this account of the natural or, to be more precise, to analyze how in major works produced between 1965 and 1975 the dissemination of the text is, in fact, a central mode of questioning not the primacy of nature but something more like the possibility of culture..
Topical Name Used as Subject : American literature
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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