The Gutenberg Galaxy

Front Cover
University of Toronto Press, Jul 31, 2011 - Social Science - 336 pages

The Gutenberg Galaxy catapulted Marshall McLuhan to fame as a media theorist and, in time, a new media prognosticator. Fifty years after its initial publication, this landmark text is more significant than ever before.

Readers will be amazed by McLuhan’s prescience, unmatched by anyone since, predicting as he did the dramatic technological innovations that have fundamentally changed how we communicate. The Gutenberg Galaxy foresaw the networked, compressed ‘global village’ that would emerge in the late-twentieth and twenty-first centuries — despite having been written when black-and-white television was ubiquitous.

This new edition of The Gutenberg Galaxy celebrates both the centennial of McLuhan’s birth and the fifty-year anniversary of the book’s publication. A new interior design updates The Gutenberg Galaxy for twenty-first-century readers, while honouring the innovative, avant-garde spirit of the original. This edition also includes new introductory essays that illuminate McLuhan’s lasting effect on a variety of scholarly fields and popular culture.

A must-read for those who inhabit today’s global village, The Gutenberg Galaxy is an indispensable road map for our evolving communication landscape.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - breadhat - LibraryThing

This was a fun and inspiring book, and there were points at which I would have considered just giving it five stars despite some of its obvious flaws and the fact that it is quite dated. I really like ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - leontes47 - LibraryThing

Argues that the advent of printing changed the way we think and the way society works. I was bowled over by this book as an undergraduate in the early 60s, for the new perspectives it opened up. However, I now find it lacking in substance. Read full review

Contents

McLuhans Compass for the Voyage to a World of Electric Words
Extending The Gutenberg Galaxy
Intertwining Figure and Ground in The Gutenberg Galaxy
vi
Prologue
xxviii
The Gutenberg Galaxy
xlii
Medieval illumination gloss and sculpture alike were aspects of the art of memory central to scribal culture
clxxxv
For the oral man the literal text contains all possible levels of meaning
clxxxviii
The sheer increase in the quantity of information movement favoured the visual organization of knowledge and the rise of perspective even before t...
cxci
Bacons Adam is a medieval mystic and Miltons a trade union organizer
ccciv
How far did the massproduced page of print become a substitute for auricular confession?
cccviii
Aretino like Rabelais and Cervantes proclaimed the meaning of Typography as Gargantuan Fantastic Suprahuman
cccxii
Marlowe anticipated Whitmans barbaric yawp by setting up a national PA system of blank verse a rising iambic system of sound to suit the new succ...
cccxvi
Print in turning the vernaculars into mass media or closed systems created the uniform centralizing forces of modern nationalism
cccxix
The divorce of poetry and music was first reflected by the printed page
cccxxi
The oral polyphony of the prose of Nashe offends against lineal and literary decorum
cccxxiii
The printing press was at first mistaken for an engine of immortality by everybody except Shakespeare
cccxxiv

The same clash between written and oral structures of knowledge occurs in medieval social life
cxcv
The medieval world ended in a frenzy of applied knowledge new medieval knowledge applied to the recreation of antiquity
cxcix
Renaissance Italy became a kind of Hollywood collection of SETS of antiquity and the new visual antiquarianism of the Renaissance provided an ave...
ccii
Medieval idols of the king
cciv
The invention of typography confirmed and extended the new visual stress of applied knowledge providing the first uniformly repeatable COMMO...
ccix
A fixed point of view becomes possible with print and ends the image as a plastic organism
ccxiii
How the NATURAL MAGIC of the CAMERA OBSCURA anticipated Hollywood in turning the spectacle of the external world into a consumer com...
ccxiv
St Thomas More offers a plan for a bridge over the turbulent river of scholastic philosophy
ccxvi
Scribal culture could have neither authors nor publics such as were created by typography
ccxviii
The medieval book trade was a secondhand trade even as with the dealing today in OLD MASTERS
ccxxiii
Until more than two centuries after printing nobody discovered how to maintain a single tone or attitude throughout a prose composition
ccxxvi
Later medieval visual stress muddied liturgical piety as much as electronicfield pressure has clarified it today
ccxxvii
The INTERFACE of the Renaissance was the meeting of medieval pluralism and modern homogeneity and mechanism a formula for blitz and meta...
ccxxxiv
Peter Ramus and John Dewey were the two educational SURFERS or waveriders of antithetic periods the Gutenberg and the Marconi or electronic
ccxxxix
Rabelais offers a vision of the future of print culture as a consumers paradise of applied knowledge
ccxlii
The celebrated earthy tactility of Rabelais is a massive backwash of receding manuscript culture
ccxlvi
Typography as the first mechanization of a handicraft is itself the perfect instance not of a new knowledge but of applied knowledge
ccxlviii
Every technology contrived and OUTERED by man has the power to numb human awareness during the period of its first interiorization
cclii
With Gutenberg Europe enters the technological phase of progress when change itself becomes the archetypal norm of social life
cclv
Applied knowledge in the Renaissance had to take the form of translation of the auditory into visual terms of the plastic into retinal form
cclx
Typography tended to alter language from a means of perception and exploration to a portable commodity
cclxiii
Typography is not only a technology but is in itself a natural resource or staple like cotton or timber or radio and like any staple it shapes not only pr...
cclxvii
The passion for exact measurement began to dominate the Renaissance
cclxx
The printmade split between head and heart is the trauma which affects Europe from Machiavelli till the present
cclxxvi
The Machiavellian mind and the merchant mind are at one in their simple faith in the power of segmental division to rule all in the dichotomy of po...
cclxxxii
Dantzig explains why the language of number had to be increased to meet the needs created by the new technology of letters
cclxxxv
How the Greeks encountered the confusion of tongues when numbers invaded Euclidean space
cclxxxviii
The great sixteenth century divorce between art and science came with accelerated calculators
ccxcii
Francis Bacon PR voice for the MODERNI had both his feet in the Middle Ages
ccxcvi
A strange wedding of the medieval Book of Nature and the new book from movable types was conducted by Francis Bacon
ccc
The portability of the book like that of the easelpainting added much to the new cult of individualism
cccxxx
The uniformity and repeatability of print created the POLITICAL ARITHMETIC of the seventeenth century and the HEDONISTIC CALCULUS of t...
cccxxxiii
The typographic logic created THE OUTSIDER the alienated man as the type of integral that is intuitive and IRRATIONAL man
cccxxxviii
Cervantes confronted typographic man in the figure of Don Quixote
cccxl
Typographic man can express but is helpless to read the configurations of print technology
cccxliv
The historians although aware that nationalism originated in the sixteenth century have yet no explanation of this passion that preceded theory
cccxlvii
Nationalism insists on equal rights among individuals and among nations alike
cccl
The citizen armies of Cromwell and Napoleon were the ideal manifestations of the new technology
cccliv
The Spaniards had been immunized against typography by their ageold quarrel with the Moors
ccclviii
Print had the effect of purifying Latin out of existence
ccclxii
Typography extended its character to the regulation and fixation of languages
ccclxiv
Print altered not only the spelling and grammar but the accentuation and inflection of languages and made BAD GRAMMAR possible
ccclxvii
The levelling of inflexion and of wordplay became part of the program of applied knowledge in the seventeenth century
ccclxx
Print created national uniformity and government centralism but also individualism and opposition to government as such
ccclxxiii
Nobody ever made a grammatical error in a nonliterate society
ccclxxvii
The reduction of the tactile qualities of life and language constitute the refinement sought in the Renaissance and repudiated now in the electronic age
ccclxxix
The new time sense of typographic man is cinematic and sequential and pictorial
ccclxxx
The denuding of conscious life and its reduction to a single level created the new world of the UNCONSCIOUS in the seventeenth century The stage ...
ccclxxxiv
Philosophy was as naive as science in its unconscious acceptance of the assumptions or dynamic of typography
ccclxxxvii
Heidegger surfboards along on the electronic wave as triumphantly as Descartes rode the mechanical wave
cccxc
Typography cracked the voices of silence
cccxciii
The Gutenberg galaxy was theoretically dissolved in 1905 with the discovery of curved space but in practice it had been invaded by the telegraph tw...
cccxcvii
Popes DUNCIAD indicts the printed book as the agent of a primitivistic and Romantic revival Sheer visual quantity evokes the magical resonance of t...
cd
The new collective unconscious Pope saw as the accumulating backwash of private selfexpression
cdvi
The last book of THE DUNCIAD proclaims the metamorphic power of mechanically applied knowledge as a stupendous parody of the Eucharist
cdviii
THE GALAXY RECONFIGURED or the Plight of Mass Man in an Individualist Society
cdxiii
Bibliographic Index
cdxxxvi
Index of Chapter Glosses
cdliii
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Marshall McLuhan (1911 - 1980) was a literature scholar and the founder of the Centre for Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto.

Bibliographic information