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The Connected ConditionRomanticism and the Dream of Communication$
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Yohei Igarashi

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781503610040

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503610040.001.0001

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The Dream Of Communication

(p.1) Introduction
The Connected Condition

Yohei Igarashi

Stanford University Press

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.

Keywords:   Romantic literature, dream of communication, connected condition, New Rhetoric, Adam Smith, John Locke, Vladimir Nabokov, medial difficulty, norms, utilitarian

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