The technical imagination : Argentine culture's modern dreams


The technical imagination : Argentine culture's modern dreams

Beatriz Sarlo ; translated by Xavier Callahan

Stanford University Press, 2008


La imaginación tecnica: sueños modernos de la cultura argentina

大学図書館所蔵 件 / 1



Originally published in Spanish: Buenos Aires : Ediciones Nueva Visión , 1992

Includes bibliographical references



In what Beatriz Sarlo calls six "episodes," ranging from the proto-science fiction of Horacio Quiroga and the apocalyptic urban surrealism of Roberto Arlt through the development of mass media, tales of inventors and inventions, and an entertaining tour of "weird science" and medical quackery, The Technical Imagination examines how technology entered the popular imagination in 1920s and 1930s Argentina. Often wry, but always sympathetic, and dispensing erudition with a light touch, Sarlo shows how the products of modern technology (radio, the telephone and telegraph, movies, and rudimentary forays into television, among other phenomena) announced an unprecedented break with the past while also provoking an ironic recrudescence of age-old superstitions. Although the new technologies helped to shape notions of modernity at all levels of Argentine society, Sarlo focuses particularly on the working-class amateur inventors of Buenos Aires, and on how their inventions-even when they failed, as they frequently did-point to what can be recognized today as the reorganization of an intellectual hierarchy, and thus of an era's, and a culture's, intellectual history.


Contents Acknowledgments ix Translator's Note xi Introduction 1 Part I. Letters 000 1. Horacio Quiroga and Technoscientific Theory 000 2. Arlt: Technology in the City 000 3. Popular Science and the Popularizing Press 000 Part II. Histories 000 4. Inventors: Technology and Mythmaking 000 5. Radio, Cinema, and Television: Long-Distance Communication 000 6. Doctors, Clairvoyants, and Quacks 000

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