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Book Flickering Light: A History of Neon

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Flickering Light: A History of Neon

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Flickering Light: A History of Neon.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Christoph Ribbat(Author)

    Book details


Neon signs illuminate modernity's ambivalence. For some observers, they stand for crass commercialism; for others, they light the way to the vibrant heart of popular culture. Energized by this tension, Flickering Light explores neon's technological and intellectual history, from the discovery of the noble gas in a late nineteenth-century London laboratory to its flickering career in the art spaces of our time. This wide-ranging book discusses neon's relevance for the cultural critic Theodor W. Adorno and the British rock band The Verve, for the novelist Vladimir Nabokov and the artist Tracey Emin, for the poet Langston Hughes and the singers of American country and western ballads. It shows how glowing advertisements, carefully sculpted by gifted craftsmen, brought elegance to western metropolises between the wars. It investigates how neon transformed a sleepy desert town called Las Vegas in the 1950s and '60s. It demonstrates how writers, artists, and musicians, on the move in European, American, and Asian neon cities, turned the blinking lights and letters into powerful metaphors of our time. And yet there is a melancholy tone to neon's story, a note of failure. It was only a few decades after their invention that the fragile inventions were seen as dated and as characteristic of the most run-down and problematic neighborhoods of the modern city. Passing from neon spectacles to neon jungles, this book thus tells the story of a glowing tube's decline - halted only by its most passionate admirers.

'Ribbat is particularly good at situating the novelty of neon within its larger historical context, elucidating how its development resonated with and reflected the shaping forces of the 20th century.' - Los Angeles Review of Books

3.4 (9200)
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Required Software Any PDF Reader, Apple Preview
Supported Devices Windows PC/PocketPC, Mac OS, Linux OS, Apple iPhone/iPod Touch.
# of Devices Unlimited
Flowing Text / Pages Pages
Printable? Yes

Book details

  • PDF | 224 pages
  • Christoph Ribbat(Author)
  • Reaktion Books; Tra edition (1 April 2013)
  • English
  • 7
  • Science & Nature

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Review Text

  • By E. Sanders on 6 October 2015

    A great book - situates the cultural and historical relevance of neon. Mainly for an academic audience - so perhaps not the ideal text for those looking for a light read...

  • By Adrian Cotterill on 29 September 2013

    Maybe this book lost something in translation though I doubt it. Very poor, the facts about Neon are interesting enough but the book quickly digresses and simply talks about vague references to Neon in music and literature. A poor purchase.


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