White Magic: The Age of Paper [EPUB]

White Magic: The Age of Paper [EPUB]
White Magic: The Age of Paper by Lothar Müller
2015 | EPUB | 2.39MB

Paper is older than the printing press, and even in its unprinted state it was the great network medium behind the emergence of modern civilization. In the shape of bills, banknotes and accounting books it was indispensible to the economy. As forms and files it was essential to bureaucracy. As letters it became the setting for the invention of the modern soul, and as newsprint it became a stage for politics. In this brilliant new book Lothar Müller describes how paper made its way from China through the Arab world to Europe, where it permeated everyday life in a variety of formats from the thirteenth century onwards, and how the paper technology revolution of the nineteenth century paved the way for the creation of the modern daily press. His key witnesses are the works of Rabelais and Grimmelshausen, Balzac and Herman Melville, James Joyce and Paul Valéry.

Müller writes not only about books, however: he also writes about pamphlets, playing cards, papercutting and legal pads. We think we understand the Gutenberg era, but we can understand it better when we explore the world that underpinned it: the paper age. Today, with the proliferation of digital devices, paper may seem to be a residue of the past, but Müller shows that the humble technology of paper is in many ways the most fundamental medium of the modern world.

The Playful Crowd: Pleasure Places in the 20th Century [EPUB]

The Playful Crowd: Pleasure Places in the 20th Century [EPUB]
The Playful Crowd: Pleasure Places in the Twentieth Century by Gary Cross, John K Walton
2005 | EPUB | 17.2MB

During the first part of the twentieth century thousands of working-class New Yorkers flocked to Coney Island in search of a release from their workaday lives and the values of bourgeois society. On the other side of the Atlantic, British workers headed off to the beach resort of Blackpool for entertainment and relaxation. However, by the middle of the century, a new type of park began to emerge, providing well-ordered, squeaky-clean, and carefully orchestrated corporate entertainment. Contrasting the experiences of Coney Island and Blackpool with those of Disneyland and Beamish, Gary S. Cross and John K. Walton explore playful crowds and the pursuit of pleasure in the twentieth century to offer a transatlantic perspective on changing ideas about leisure, class, and mass culture.

Blackpool and Coney Island were the definitive playgrounds of the industrial working class. Teeming crowds partook of a gritty vulgarity that offered a variety of pleasures and thrills from roller coaster rides and freak shows to dance halls and dioramas of exotic locales. Responding to the new money and mobility of the working class, the purveyors of Coney Island and Blackpool offered the playful crowd an "industrial saturnalia."Cross and Walton capture the sights and sounds of Blackpool and Coney Island and consider how these "Sodoms by the sea" flouted the social and cultural status quo. The authors also examine the resorts' very different fates as Coney Island has now become a mere shadow of its former self while Blackpool continues to lure visitors and offer new attractions.

The authors also explore the experiences offered at Disneyland and Beamish, a heritage park that celebrates Britain's industrial and social history. While both parks borrowed elements from their predecessors, they also adapted to the longings and concerns of postwar consumer culture. Appealing to middle-class families, Disney provided crowds a chance to indulge in child-like innocence and a nostalgia for a simpler time. At Beamish, crowds gathered to find an escape from the fragmented and hedonistic life of modern society in a reconstructed realm of the past where local traditions and nature prevail.

Green Porno by Isabella Rossellini [EPUB]

Green Porno by Isabella Rossellini [EPUB]
Green Porno by Isabella Rossellini
2009 | EPUB | 1.49MB

From the beloved actress Isabella Rossellini comes Green Porno, a strange and enlightening visual exploration of the sex lives of insects and sea creatures, based on the wildly popular short videos of the same name. Co-director Jody Shapiro has taken 125 arresting film stills of Isabella dressed in animal costumes which are the centerpiece of Green Porno and will appear alongside narrative text describing the “love making” process of each animal. Each chapter will also include a quirky, surprising facts about each species.

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