“All-Electric” Narratives

“All-Electric” Narratives

Author: Rachele Dini

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 9781501367359

Page: 376

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This book examines the literary depiction of refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, oven ranges, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, toasters, blenders, standing and hand-held mixers, and microwave ovens across a range of literary genres and ...

"The significance of domestic time-saving electrical appliances in 20th-century American literature is given unique attention in this wide-ranging study. This book examines the literary depiction of refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, oven ranges, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, toasters, blenders, standing and hand-held mixers, and microwave ovens across a range of literary genres and forms published between the early 1910s, as Fordism and Taylorism entered the home, and the 2010s, as contemporary writers consider the enduring material and spiritual effects of these objects into the 21st century. Rachele Dini argues that literary scholarship has too long ignored the influence of electrification on literary form, and of domestic electrification on the literary representation of home and on shifting understandings of the relationship between the home, body, and nation. Dini further argues that the appropriation and subversion of the rhetoric of domestic electrification comprised a crucial, but overlooked, element in specific twentieth-century literary forms and genres including Beat literature, Black American literature, second-wave feminist fiction, science fiction, and postmodernist fiction. "All-Electric" Narratives thus demonstrates the extent to which American writers over the last century have enlisted appliances to raise questions about gender norms and sexuality, racial exclusion and erasure, class anxieties, the ramifications of mechanisation and the potential replacement of humans by robots, the perils and possibilities of conformity, the limitations of patriotism, and the inevitable fallacy of utopian thinking-while both shaping and radically disrupting the literary forms in which they operated"--



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