Historical Narratives, Aesthetic Paradigms and Technological Developments
by Martin Prochazka
ISBN 978-80-7308-434-9 (paperback) 144pp
Publication date: December 2012

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The book discusses the differences and similarities in the understanding, representation and social as well as private uses of ruins in the U.S. and Europe, starting with the period of Romanticism. Focused on the tensions between the master narratives of U.S. history and local, mostly anecdotal histories it deals with the U.S. appropriation of Native American ruins, and the discourse of ruins in romantic, modern and post-modern literature. Main attention is paid to the phenomenon of "ghost towns" and its epistemological, rhetorical and ethical implications. "Ghost towns" are studied as material objects, products of the development of technology (mining, heavy industry, modern agriculture), communication networks (postal routes, railroads) and leisure activities (tourism), but also as discursive patterns in industrial archaeology, cultural history, literature and popular culture.

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