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Digital ModernismMaking It New in New Media$
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Jessica Pressman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199937080

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199937080.001.0001

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. Close Reading

. Close Reading

Marshall McLuhan, from Modernism to Media Studies

(p.28) 1. Close Reading
Digital Modernism

Jessica Pressman

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the father of media studies, Marshall McLuhan, as a modernist New Critic and argues for the understanding of how close reading serves his foundational writing. McLuhan studied at Cambridge under such eminent New Critics as I. A. Richards and F. R. Leavis. McLuhan adapted the New Critical practice of close reading and applied it to objects not traditionally considered literary. He built media studies from literary studies. Taking seriously McLuhan’s training in literature as well as his writerly prose, this chapter claims that close reading is crucial to understanding not only McLuhan’s theories of media but also the larger field of media studies that grew out of them.

Keywords:   Marshall McLuhan, I. A. Richards, F. R. Leavis, close reading, New Criticism, media studies, modernism, Ezra Pound

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