The Medium Is the Monster

Canadian Adaptations of <em>Frankenstein</em> and the Discourse of Technology


The Medium Is the Monster

Technology, a word that emerged historically first to denote the study of any art or technique, has come, in modernity, to describe advanced machines, industrial systems, and media. McCutcheon argues that it is Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein that effectively reinvented the meaning of the word for modern English. It was then Marshall McLuhan’s media theory and its adaptations in Canadian popular culture that popularized, even globalized, a Frankensteinian sense of technology. The Medium Is the Monster shows how we cannot talk about technology—that human-made monstrosity—today without conjuring Frankenstein, thanks in large part to its Canadian adaptations by pop culture icons such as David Cronenberg, William Gibson, Margaret Atwood, and Deadmau5. In the unexpected connections illustrated by The Medium Is the Monster, McCutcheon brings a fresh approach to studying adaptations, popular culture, and technology.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Cover 1
Half Title 2
Title 4
Copyright 5
Dedication 6
Contents 10
Acknowledgements 12
Introduction 16
1. Technology, Frankenstein, and . . . Canada? 24
2. Refocusing Adaptation Studies 48
3. Frankenstein and the Reinventionof “Technology” 72
4. The Medium Is the Monster: McLuhan’s “Frankenpheme” of Technology 98
5. Monstrous Adaptations: McLuhanesque Frankensteins in Neuromancer and Videodrome 116
6. “Technology Implies Belligerence”: Pattern Propagation in Canadian Science Fiction 146
7. Is It Live or Is It Deadmau5?Pattern Amplification in Canadian Electronic Dance Music 168
8. Monster Mines and Pipelines: Frankenphemes of Tar Sands Technology in Canadian Popular Culture 188
Conclusion 202
References 218
A 236
Index 236
B 236
C 237
E 238
D 238
F 239
G 240
I 240
H 240
M 241
K 241
L 241
J 241
P 243
N 243
O 243
R 244
S 244
T 245
U 246
W 246
V 246
Y 247
Z 247