oh, what a blow that phantom gave me!

is a book by Edmund Carpenter which I bought yesterday.

In New Guinea, when villagers ignore their leader, the government may tape-record his orders. The next day the assembled community hears his voice coming to them from a radio he holds in his own hand. Then they obey him.

The phantom of the title is the media we experience.

Carpenter was an anthropologist and media theorist who collaborated uncredited on McLuhan’s Understanding Media and edited Explorations with him. Oh what a blow… so far seems to be a really extraordinary construction exploring the effects of media by contrasting different culture’s experiences of media and juxtaposing all sorts of narrative elements to achieve effects, including many of his own anthropological notes.

The connection between symbol and thing comes from the fact that the symbol – the word or picture – helps give the ‘thing’ its identity, clarity, definition. It helps convert given reality into experienced reality, and is therefore an indispensable part of all experience.

If this seems like your idea of good times, it is online free here.

One Response to “oh, what a blow that phantom gave me!”

  1. August 29th, 2007 | 2:05 pm

    you’re hawt.