Disappearing Through the Skylight

O. B. Hardison, Author
O. B. Hardison, Author Viking Books $22.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-670-82505-9
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 12/01/1989
By turns incisive and glib, Hardison's ( Entering the Maze ) illustrated tour of the modern age from Darwin to quarks focuses on the disappearance of verities in science, art, language and culture. In abstract painting and functional architecture, he perceives a negation of history; with the advent of intelligent machines, he suspects that the idea of humanity may be disappearing as well. Hardison, professor of English at Georgetown, champions computer art, concrete poetry (``seeking to recover a unity lost in Western culture''), Dada experiments and the word games and formulas of the French writers' group known as Oulipo. One can dip into this compendium for engaging discussions of all manner of topics, from the British cracking of the Germans' Enigma code in WW II to automobiles as ``thin-steel sculptures.'' (Dec.)
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