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Constellations of a Contemporary Romanticism$
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Jacques Khalip and Forest Pyle

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823271030

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823271030.001.0001

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Technomagism, Coleridge’s Mariner, and the Sentence Image

Technomagism, Coleridge’s Mariner, and the Sentence Image

(p.290) Technomagism, Coleridge’s Mariner, and the Sentence Image
Constellations of a Contemporary Romanticism

Orrin N. C. Wang

Fordham University Press

Orrin Wang coins the term “techno-magism” to explore the twinned logics of techne and magic that emerge from the Romantic moment and address our own contemporary relationship with the quasi-magical forms of technology. Wang shows how Coleridge’s poem makes “something out of nothing,” a conjuring trick that is the aesthetic fiat which exemplifies Romanticism’s own “techno-magism.” Wang’s argument pivots on his reading of the decisive passage in the poem where the albatross inexplicably falls from the Mariner’s neck. Wang’s account of Coleridge’s poem —as paradigmatic hermeneutical challenge or elaborate “put-on”—morphs into a reading of Jacques Rancière’s notion of the “sentence-image,” the “little theatrical machine” or textual “app” that turns an event into a meaningful sequence and generates the “mystery” of symbolic relations.

Keywords:   Calder, Coleridge, Ranciere, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Romanticism

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