Sunday, July 01, 2018

Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980): Some Notes by Way of a List of Books, Videos, and More

As I mosey along with my book about borderlands Far West Texas I have become increasingly fascinated by the interweavings of the imaginal realm and the real, that is, how novels, television shows and movies are inspired by and in turn shape our ideas about this place, its people, and its history. (See my previous post, "Thirteen Trailers for Movies with Extra-Astral Texiness.") I have also been pondering the ways in which the digital revolution has transformed the experience of travel itself, conflating, multilayering, and pretzeling time and space. (See my post on "Literary Travel Writing: Notes on Process and the Digital Revolution.") And I've been noodling on technology (see "Notes on Wolfgang Schivelbusch's The Railway Journey.")

So no surprise, I have ended up, willy by nilly, crunching through the ouevre of Marshall McLuhan.


For anything to do with media, Marshall McLuhan is your superstar go-to guy. He's wild, brilliant, cryptic until you realize just how very brilliantly inside-out brilliant, and spookily prophetic. His famous saying was, "the medium is the message." His arguably most famous book, however, is titled The Medium is the Massage.

An excellent introduction to his work is this video on the Marshall McLuhan Speaks website. It opens with his cameo in the Woody Allen film, "Annie Hall," then goes to an approximately 20 minute introduction by Tom Wolf.

> Listen in to Terrance McKenna on Marshall McLuhan for another richly interesting, yea verily, psychedelic introduction.

> For an official biography see the  Marshall McLuhan official website. This official webpage includes the head-shaking "McLuhanisms."

Selected works by Marshall McLuhan:

The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man

The Gutenberg Galaxy

Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man

Understanding Me: Lectures and Interviews (with an introduction by Tom Wolf)

by Marshall McLuhan and Bruce R. Powers
The Global Village: Transformations in World Media in the 21st Century

by Marshall McLuhan and Eric McLuhan
Laws of Media and the New Science
Media and Formal Cause

by Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore
The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects


Lectures and Panels


On the Global Village and the Tetrad
Lecture at Johns Hopkins University, 1977

This is Marshall McLuhan: The Medium is the Message


On the last lecture by Marshall McLuhan's son and collaborator, Eric McLuhan: Media Ecology and the 21st Century

@mmreadsbooks is of notes by McLuhan found by grandson
Andrew as he took inventory of McLuhan's working library
(Hmmm this note reminds me of reading Thundersticks...)

> Your comments are always welcome. Write to me here.