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Tag: journalism

Isabel Hofmeyr. Gandhi’s Printing Press: Experiments in Slow Reading

Isabel Hofmeyr. Gandhi’s Printing Press: Experiments in Slow Reading. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2013. 218p, ill. ISBN 9780674072794. US $24.95 (hardback).

Can we really ignore a man whose face keeps appearing on every banknote printed in the Republic of India during the last 69 years? More importantly, given Gandhi’s known hostility to the Western ideals of politics and technological progress, can we ignore the nature of contradictions inherent in his use of the printing press as an experimental device for political and spiritual communication?

If printing, according to McLuhan, was a ditto device which first outlined the contours of the West-European idea of ‘nationalism,’ the ubiquitous Gandhi face on the Indian banknote is an important reminder of the fact as how that idea was appropriated, reinterpreted, and powerfully reinforced by the medium of print in non-Western societies.

Sari Edelstein. Between the Novel and the News: The Emergence of American Women’s Writing

Sari Edelstein. Between the Novel and the News: The Emergence of American Women’s Writing. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2014. 226p., 7 ill. ISBN 9780813935904. US $29.50.

Sari Edelstein’s Between the Novel and the News offers a bold corrective. While scholars and teachers have often connected male realist writers to journalism – the opening of Howells’s The Rise of Silas Lapham in which the eponymous character is being interviewed for a newspaper series is a quintessentially realist moment – critics have not given similar attention to how women writers in the long nineteenth century struggled to use and counter journalistic depictions of women and journalistic modes of narration. As Edelstein writes, “women writers have long regarded the press an ideological problem whose social and political influence had serious repercussions for lived experience” (148).

Mark O’Brien and Felix M. Larkin, eds. Periodicals and Journalism in Twentieth-Century Ireland: Writing Against the Grain

Mark O’Brien and Felix M. Larkin, eds. Periodicals and Journalism in Twentieth-Century Ireland: Writing Against the Grain. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2014. 240 p. ISBN: 9781846825248. £47.38 (hardback).

This book is a selection of essays on Irish periodicals and magazines in twentieth-century Ireland, and it is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the public sphere in this country. The introduction makes the point that “there is no genuine freedom of expression in the public sphere unless a wide variety of outlets is available to accommodate those with something to say” (9).