Monday, August 15, 2011

McLuhan Writes Kenner and Lays the Foundation for the MoM Enterprise

Hugh Kenner
Reflecting on what needs to be done, McLuhan notes to Hugh (Jan. 1951) that the “object is not to spin or project analogies but to use them to illicit dialogue, to stimulate social organs and areas remote from our own. The analogies may be smoke, but they are to be smoke signals also. Network is pure experiment. A dove launched from an ark to discover not whether there is land but whether there are men.
            Hawk and Hound assumes business as usual only better. Ignores both Deluge and Babel.
            I’m ready to quit English because there is no business going forward there at all. There’s nothing to sell and nobody to buy. Network in short assumes catastrophe has already occurred. It is not an effort to ward it off, but an attempt to establish a primitive oral tradition (dialogue) Mute and Jute once more.
            If 30-60 men [sic] can be found, gradually, and encouraged to talk to one another instead of to the robots they must pretend to talk for a living, then something may come of it.
            The Mechanical Bride is something that happened before the Flood. Assumed an audience. I know that you exist, that Innis exists. It is a wedding announcement found a 1000 years from now in a block of concrete.
            Another point, Network is a communication hook-up between live minds. Anything spoken over that hook-up is merely tentative. Your idea of a program assumes extant social categories and functions which have gone."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where can we find a copy of the letter?