Friday, July 22, 2011

‘March Backwards Into the Future’ — Marshall McLuhan’s Century

Ah, the book that absolutely change my life:

[Wired] Thursday is the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the literary scholar, media theorist and intellectual icon Marshall McLuhan.

In his books The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man (1951), The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (1962), Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964), The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects (1967), War and Peace in the Global Village (1968) and From Cliché to Archetype (1970), McLuhan analyzed the effect of a wide range of media on individual psychology and common culture.

This essay examines McLuhan’s legacy by reading one of his rare experiments in new media, The Medium is the Massage, a collaboration with designer Quentin Fiore that remains McLuhan’s best-selling work.


“When these ratios change,” the text now booms, “men change.”

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