As If: Modern Enchantment and the Literary PreHistory of Virtual Reality

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9780195343175: As If: Modern Enchantment and the Literary PreHistory of Virtual Reality

Named One of the "Best Books of 2012" by the Editors of The Huffington Post  Many people throughout the world "inhabit" imaginary worlds communally and persistently, parsing Harry Potter and exploring online universes. These activities might seem irresponsibly escapist, but history tells another story. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, when Sherlock Holmes became the world's first "virtual reality" character, readers began to colonize imaginary worlds, debating serious issues and viewing reality in provisional, "as if" terms rather than through essentialist, "just so" perspectives. From Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos and Tolkien's Middle-earth to the World of Warcraft and Second Life, As If provides a cultural history that reveals how we can remain enchanted but not deluded in an age where fantasy and reality increasingly intertwine.

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From the Author :

"Readers will have much to learn from Saler's work. As If is a very welcome contribution to the unfolding challenge of seeing how our newfound age of virtuality changes what we notice about the potential and actual virtuality woven into earlier forms of realist and fantastical fiction, in all their multifariousness." -- John Plotz, Victorian Studies

About the Author :


Michael Saler is Professor of History at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of The Avant-Garde in Interwar England: "Medieval Modernism" and the London Underground and co-editor, with Joshua Landy, of The Re-Enchantment of the World: Secular Magic in a Rational Age.

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Michael T. Saler
Edité par Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2012)
ISBN 10 : 0195343174 ISBN 13 : 9780195343175
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Description du livre Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2012. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Many people throughout the world inhabit fantastic imaginary worlds in a communal fashion, enthusiastically discussing the fine points of The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and Harry Potter, or banding together in online virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft and Second Life. These activities are often dismissed as harmless escapism or bemoaned as pernicious wish-fulfillments that distract from the serious business of life. Saler challenges such claims by excavating the history of imaginary worlds in the West since the late nineteenth century, when the communal and long-term immersion in such worlds first began with Sherlock Holmes. The book contends that imaginary worlds emerged at this time as sites of rational and secular enchantments for the modern age. They continue to represent distinct social practices informing political, social, and spiritual life. Individuals often use imaginary worlds as a playful space to debate serious issues in the real world; they also use them to hone their understandings of the interplay of reason and imagination and the provisional nature of all representations.Saler provides an overview of how imaginary worlds went from being feared by the Victorians to being inhabited by the Edwardians, and discusses in detail the creation and reception of the worlds of A.C. Doyle s Sherlock Holmes, H.P. Lovecraft s Cthulhu Mythos, and J.R.R. Tolkien s Middle-earth, among many others. The social practices of imaginary worlds will continue to play an important role in a future increasingly influenced by concepts of virtual reality and the rapid growth of gaming communities. Saler s book contributes the historical back-story of those deeply engaging imaginary universes, highlighting their vital lessons for how we can remain enchanted but not deluded in an age that privileges the imagination as much as reason. N° de réf. du libraire AAZ9780195343175

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Michael T. Saler
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Description du livre Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2012. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Many people throughout the world inhabit fantastic imaginary worlds in a communal fashion, enthusiastically discussing the fine points of The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and Harry Potter, or banding together in online virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft and Second Life. These activities are often dismissed as harmless escapism or bemoaned as pernicious wish-fulfillments that distract from the serious business of life. Saler challenges such claims by excavating the history of imaginary worlds in the West since the late nineteenth century, when the communal and long-term immersion in such worlds first began with Sherlock Holmes. The book contends that imaginary worlds emerged at this time as sites of rational and secular enchantments for the modern age. They continue to represent distinct social practices informing political, social, and spiritual life. Individuals often use imaginary worlds as a playful space to debate serious issues in the real world; they also use them to hone their understandings of the interplay of reason and imagination and the provisional nature of all representations.Saler provides an overview of how imaginary worlds went from being feared by the Victorians to being inhabited by the Edwardians, and discusses in detail the creation and reception of the worlds of A.C. Doyle s Sherlock Holmes, H.P. Lovecraft s Cthulhu Mythos, and J.R.R. Tolkien s Middle-earth, among many others. The social practices of imaginary worlds will continue to play an important role in a future increasingly influenced by concepts of virtual reality and the rapid growth of gaming communities. Saler s book contributes the historical back-story of those deeply engaging imaginary universes, highlighting their vital lessons for how we can remain enchanted but not deluded in an age that privileges the imagination as much as reason. N° de réf. du libraire AAZ9780195343175

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Description du livre Oxford University Press. Paperback. État : New. Paperback. 304 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.2in. x 1.0in.Named One of the Best Books of 2012 by the Editors of The Huffington Post Many people throughout the world inhabit imaginary worlds communally and persistently, parsing Harry Potter and exploring online universes. These activities might seem irresponsibly escapist, but history tells another story. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, when Sherlock Holmes became the worlds first virtual reality character, readers began to colonize imaginary worlds, debating serious issues and viewing reality in provisional, as if terms rather than through essentialist, just so perspectives. From Lovecrafts Cthulhu Mythos and Tolkiens Middle-earth to the World of Warcraft and Second Life, As If provides a cultural history that reveals how we can remain enchanted but not deluded in an age where fantasy and reality increasingly intertwine. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. N° de réf. du libraire 9780195343175

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Description du livre Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2012. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Many people throughout the world inhabit fantastic imaginary worlds in a communal fashion, enthusiastically discussing the fine points of The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and Harry Potter, or banding together in online virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft and Second Life. These activities are often dismissed as harmless escapism or bemoaned as pernicious wish-fulfillments that distract from the serious business of life. Saler challenges such claims by excavating the history of imaginary worlds in the West since the late nineteenth century, when the communal and long-term immersion in such worlds first began with Sherlock Holmes. The book contends that imaginary worlds emerged at this time as sites of rational and secular enchantments for the modern age. They continue to represent distinct social practices informing political, social, and spiritual life. Individuals often use imaginary worlds as a playful space to debate serious issues in the real world; they also use them to hone their understandings of the interplay of reason and imagination and the provisional nature of all representations.Saler provides an overview of how imaginary worlds went from being feared by the Victorians to being inhabited by the Edwardians, and discusses in detail the creation and reception of the worlds of A.C. Doyle s Sherlock Holmes, H.P. Lovecraft s Cthulhu Mythos, and J.R.R. Tolkien s Middle-earth, among many others. The social practices of imaginary worlds will continue to play an important role in a future increasingly influenced by concepts of virtual reality and the rapid growth of gaming communities. Saler s book contributes the historical back-story of those deeply engaging imaginary universes, highlighting their vital lessons for how we can remain enchanted but not deluded in an age that privileges the imagination as much as reason. N° de réf. du libraire BTE9780195343175

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