"The Mechanical Bride" Notes


A newspaper is a collective work of art, linked to the techniques of modern science and art through its technical and mechanical side. The voice of reason is only audible to the detached observer. Even the frequent sensational absurdness and the unreliability of the news cannot prevent it from enforcing a deep sense of mutual human support.

Bad habits of the mind
- gloom occurs if one only considers the quality of the intellectual analysis about a particular item or editorial
- there is a natural exaggeration about the value and necessity of "correct views"
- lead to the condemnation of modern art because of the lack of a "message"
These blind people to real changes of our time. This conditioning has taught people to accept the opinions and attitudes of the press.

James Joyce, "Ulysses"
- saw a new form of universal scope in the technical layout of the modern newspaper
- major instance of how the industrial imagination led to radical artistic developments
- front page of a newspaper is superficial chaos the leads the mind to attend to cosmic harmonies of a very high order, more sharply stylized harmonies give offense to the people that should appreciate them most

Consumer point of view is strictly inside or unconscious. They contribute mindlessly and automatically to the huge technical panorama that they never bother examining.



New York Times
- so many words
- hard to skim
- very busy

Easy to read
- old but relevant
- contemporary
- writer's material is said to be dense and difficult
- a bit disorienting, builds essays on images

Articles
- very strange
- must squint
- roller coaster, don't know what's coming next
- topics are all over the place, determined by editors and their reaction to things

Text
- title looks like a web page
- set of questions at the start
- probes writing, imagine it like a lecture
- designed with themes, organized after the questions to explore them
- doesn't have to be read in order, front to back, to be understood

What he's getting at
- symmetrical front page, the News page, balanced, unlikely to be seen again
- designed by cubists, as he says in the text
- jump from one to the other, hypertext, continuation links
- much more to it than we expect at first glance, like Ulysses or Picasso or James Joyce, like modern art

cubism = from consistent point of view
- view Mona Lisa from 8 different points at once
- done in reality, not in painting, cubism tries anyway
- constructed perspective

Symmetry
- order in the world
- put it all together and the front page has an order
- close reading, maybe become a modernist
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