The Speed Handbook: Velocity, Pleasure, Modernism
by Enda Duffy (9780822344308)

The Speed Handbook: Velocity, Pleasure, Modernism
Enda Duffy
Release Date: 01 August 2009
Format: Hardback
Pages: 306
Categories: Theory
Human Geography
Study Aids
ISBN: 9780822344308
ISBN-10: 0822344300

Speed, the sensation one gets when driving fast, was described by Aldous Huxley as the single new pleasure invented by modernity. "The Speed Handbook" is a virtuoso exploration of Huxley's claim. Enda Duffy shows how the experience of speed has always been political and how it has affected nearly all aspects of modern culture. Primarily a result of the mass-produced automobile, the experience of speed became the quintessential way for individuals to experience modernity, the way for them to feel modernity in their bones.

Duffy illuminates speed as a logic and genuine pleasure of modernity. He plunges full-throttle into speed's "adrenaline aesthetics," offering deft readings of works ranging from F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," through J. G. Ballard's "Crash," to the cautionary consumerism of Ralph Nader. He describes how speed changed understandings of space, distance, chance, and violence; how the experience of speed was commodified in the dawning era of mass consumption; and how people were incited to abhor slowness and desire speed. He examines how they were trained by new media such as the cinema to see, hear, and sense speed, and how speed, demanded of the efficient assembly-line worker, was given back to that worker as the chief thrill of leisure. Assessing speed's political implications, Duffy considers how speed pleasure was offered to citizens based on criteria including their ability to pay and their gender, and how speed quickly became something to be patrolled by governments. Drawing on novels, news reports, photography, advertising, and much more, Duffy provides a breakneck tour through the cultural dynamics of speed.

AUD $178.95

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