The Dream Of Communication
This chapter shows that the Romantic period was very much a preview – similar and yet different – of our own “connected condition.” Romantic poets witnessed the rise of transcription technologies (shorthand), large-scale data collection and processing through standardized forms, social networks and communications and transportation infrastructure, and instantaneous contact at a distance via telegraphy. The chapter goes on to discuss the concept of the “dream of communication,” ideals of good writing style (like clarity and brevity) treated by the New Rhetoric of the eighteenth century, the book’s own method (the “normal method”), poetic difficulty, and finally the chapters to come.
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