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Oh, What a Blow That Phantom Gave Me

Authors
Publisher
Canadian Journal of Communication/CCSP Press
Keywords
  • Communication

Abstract

BOOK REVIEW OH, WHAT A BUN THAT PHANTOM GAVE ME By Edmund Carpenter Hol t Rinehart & Winston New York - 1973 A R e v i e w by David Essner INTRODUCTION "OH, WHAT A BLOW THAT PHANTOM GAVE ME"! i s a book about man and h i s re lat ionship to t h e wor ld a round him. It i s a look a t t h e d i f f e r e n t wor lds as perce ived by d i s t i n c t cu l t u ra l g roups, and it i s a clear ind ic tment o f t h e warp ing o f society b y mass media. I t o f f e rs p roof o f t h e McLuhan-esque percept ion o f t h e mass media as separate wor lds w i th in them- selves, conquer ing and sub jugat ing in a s h o r t space of time, cu l t u res t h a t had endured f o r mil lenia. It i l lus t ra tes McLuhanis appeal t o look a t t h e formal cause which "const i- t u tes t h e environmental violence" t h a t i s t h e mass media. As McLuhan p u t s it, "The ef fects o f t h e media themselves rep re - sent a fo rm o f violence so v a s t as t o b e unnot iced". Edmund Carpenter has an i ns igh t fu l v iew o f how o u r wor ld funct ions, and i s able t o d iscern how men o f d i f f e r e n t cu l t u res a re in t u n e w i t h and see t h e wor ld a round them. He g ives many i l lus t ra t ions in h i s book, beg inn ing w i t h i t s t i t l e . Th i s t i t le , a quotat ion from "Don Quixote", is meant t o il- lus t ra te t h e content o f t h e book, b y showing how Don Quiote, a p r o d u c t o f h i s c u l t u r e and evironment, saw a pe r fec t l y o r d i n a r y wor ld in a way un ique t o h i s own c u l t u r e and u p - b r i n g i n g . T h e book i s no less i n t r i g u i n g . B y h i s own admission addressing t h e book t o no p a r - t i cu la r audience, Carpenter adopts a loose s t r u c t u r e and casual s t y le in assembling it. T h e book i s f o r anyone who cares to read it and is n o t meant t

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