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The Speed Handbook


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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Adrenaline Aesthetic: Speed as Culture 1
1. Speed Theory 17
2. Thriller: The Incitement to Speed 59
3. Gaining Speed: Car Culture, Adrenaline, and the Experience of Speed 111
4. Blur: Rapid Eye Movement and the Visuality of Speed 157
5. Crash Culture 199
Epilogue: Overdrive 261
Notes 273
Bibliography 285
Index 293

Promotional Information

Argues that the sensation of speed (made available to many through the mass-produced automobile) was the quintessential way that people experienced modernity

About the Author

Enda Duffy is Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of The Subaltern Ulysses.


"The Speed Handbook is not just a dazzling book but a necessary one. There is nothing else like it. Enda Duffy insists on the political stakes of speed, persuasively connecting the emergence of speed as the 'only new pleasure invented by modernity' with commodity fetishism, the sensorium, gender, 'endocolonization,' 'adrenaline aesthetics,' and social control. This superlative work will become required reading for scholars of modernism, historians of technology, materialist critics, and even egg-headed car lovers." Paul K. Saint-Amour, author of The Copywrights: Intellectual Property and the Literary Imagination "The Speed Handbook is a tour de force, a crash-course in speed and space. The effervescent prose and the quicksilver deployment of Enda Duffy's scholarship are such that the book fairly vibrates with insight and cogency. As Duffy catalogs speed in its many indices and instances, most of the familiar genres and all of the modernist pieties we thought we knew are overturned. And the rubric of speed gives Duffy license to range over the domains of children's literature or contemporary advertising or car races with the same lavish attention he gives to avant-garde art or modernist totems such as James Joyce. I am deeply impressed by this book and indebted to its energy, salience, and comprehensiveness."--Jennifer Wicke, University of Virginia

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