Retromania: Pop Cultures Addiction to its Own Past

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A restless, omnivorous intellectual, Reynolds roams far and wide to investigate, formulate and test what is, essentially, a kind of vague hunch, bringing in critical theory, politics and history.

This is in many ways a more ambitious book than his previous and more satisfying genre histories notably Energy Flash: Reynolds is trying to establish a unifying theory of what is happening right now. His book is crammed with entertaining arguments, yet he is hampered, and indeed blinkered, by the narrowness of his pop-cultural fixations. A science-fiction fan as well as a new music devotee, there is an unmistakable undercurrent of dissatisfaction in this book about how the future has turned out, best summed up by another obscure band name: We Were Promised Jetpacks.


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Get the best at Telegraph Puzzles. Online archives of music e. Current technologies make us less-good listeners, although Reynolds believes this sad state of affairs has been a couple of decades in the making: If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click 'Authenticate'.


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    Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past by Simon Reynolds

    Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves. Are we heading toward a sort of culturalecological catastrophe where the archival stream of pop history has been exhausted?

    Simon Reynolds, one of the finest music writers of his generation, argues that we have indeed reached a tipping point, and that although earlier eras had their own obsessions with antiquity—the Renaissance with its admiration for Roman and Greek classicism, the Gothic movement's invocations of medievalism—never has there been a society so obsessed with the cultural artifacts of its own immediate past.

    Retromania is the first book to examine the retro industry and ask the question:

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