The Connected Condition

9781503610040: Hardback
Release Date: 10th December 2019

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 256

Edition: 1st Edition

Series Stanford Text Technologies

Stanford University Press

The Connected Condition

Romanticism and the Dream of Communication

Hardback / £50.00
This book can only be pre-ordered within 2 months of the publication date.

The Romantic poet's intense yearning to share thoughts and feelings often finds expression in a style that thwarts a connection with readers. Yohei Igarashi addresses this paradox by reimagining Romantic poetry as a response to the beginnings of the information age. Data collection, rampant connectivity, and efficient communication became powerful social norms during this period. The Connected Condition argues that poets responded to these developments by probing the underlying fantasy: the perfect transfer of thoughts, feelings, and information, along with media that might make such communication possible.

This book radically reframes major poets and canonical poems. Igarashi considers Samuel Taylor Coleridge as a stenographer, William Wordsworth as a bureaucrat, Percy Shelley amid social networks, and John Keats in relation to telegraphy, revealing a shared attraction and skepticism toward the dream of communication. Bringing to bear a singular combination of media studies, the history of communication, sociology, rhetoric, and literary history, The Connected Condition proposes new accounts of literary difficulty and Romanticism. Above all, this book shows that the Romantic poets have much to teach us about living with the connected condition and the fortunes of literature in it.

Yohei Igarashi is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Connecticut.

"The Connected Condition is a brilliant, nuanced, and elegantly written work on media as concept and practice in the Romantic period. Writing about the 'dream of communication,' Yohei Igarashi restages through intriguing research and deft theoretical argument what earlier generations of Romanticists hallowed as imagination."

Alan Liu
University of California, Santa Barbara

"This elegantly framed book cuts to the core of what the literary is, where it came from in English letters, and what it's for today. Yohei Igarashi's Romantic authors are pioneers seized by the quintessentially modern problem of communication—its imperative, norms, and all but certain failures."

Lisa Gitelman
New York University

"The connections forged in the pages of The Connected Condition are revelatory, not least because they are pursued with tact, wit, and serious learning. As a critic, Yohei Igarashi combines the gifts and the practices of several generations of scholars, and he makes us think about the long-term gestation of our most recent preoccupations with communication, information, and efficiency. Never has the power of the norm appeared more exciting."

Kevis Goodman, University of California
Berkeley