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The Textual Life of Airports: Reading the Culture of Flight (Hardback)
  • The Textual Life of Airports: Reading the Culture of Flight (Hardback)
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The Textual Life of Airports: Reading the Culture of Flight (Hardback)

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£88.00
Hardback 176 Pages / Published: 02/02/2012
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From the earliest airfields to the post-9/11 turn, this book investigates how airports figure in the American cultural imagination. "The Textual Life of Airports" shows how airports demand to be read. Working at the intersection of literary studies and cultural theory, Schaberg tracks airport stories in American literature, as well as in a range of visual texts (film, airport art, magazine illustrations). Throughout, close readings of literary passages highlight narrative tropes of airports in texts; these literary readings also function as a methodological lens for how to interpret airports as texts. "The Textual Life of Airports" accounts for how airports appear in literature throughout the twentieth-century, while also examining the influx of airport figures in markedly post-9/11 literature and culture. These literary and cultural representations work together to form "the textual life of airports." Schaberg offers a theory for how airports rely on a network of interpenetrating narratives about mortality, perception, and mobility - and it is also a theory for how airports have the ability to break away from narrative consistency at any point. It is this constant yet fraught dependency on narrative that makes airports the place to read in the contemporary moment.

Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
ISBN: 9781441175212
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 399 g
Dimensions: 228 x 153 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"For most of us, time spent in airports is filled with inconvenience, discomfort, and often explicit insult to our psychological well-being. Reading Christopher Schaberg's The Textual Life of Airports is guaranteed to dispel your tedium and inspire you to join along with him in a rich foray of cultural inquiries about these colossi and the complex narratives they convey. From the canon of airport reading to aesthetic images of baggage, from the resonances of 9/11 to the semiotic absence and presence of birds in the terminals, Schaberg approaches airports with a keen critical energy that will make you welcome your next four-hour layover in Atlanta or your missed connection in Newark as an opportunity to explore his fascinating insights. I have sometimes felt that all the good topics in cultural studies have been exhausted; this book restores my faith that fertile ground remains. I savored every paragraph." Randy Malamud, Professor of English, Georgia State University, USA, and author of Reading Zoos: Representations of Animals and Captivity (Macmillan and NYU Press, 1998) and Poetic Animals and Animal Souls (Palgrave 2003).

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