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Hieroglyphic ModernismsWriting and New Media in the Twentieth Century$
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Jesse Schotter

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474424776

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474424776.001.0001

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Coda: The Rosetta Stone

Coda: The Rosetta Stone

(p.239) Coda: The Rosetta Stone
Hieroglyphic Modernisms

Jesse Schotter

Edinburgh University Press

Hieroglyphs have persisted for so long in the Western imagination because of the malleability of their metaphorical meanings. Emblems of readability and unreadability, universality and difference, writing and film, writing and digital media, hieroglyphs serve to encompass many of the central tensions in understandings of race, nation, language and media in the twentieth century. For Pound and Lindsay, they served as inspirations for a more direct and universal form of writing; for Woolf, as a way of treating the new medium of film and our perceptions of the world as a kind of language. For Conrad and Welles, they embodied the hybridity of writing or the images of film; for al-Hakim and Mahfouz, the persistence of links between ancient Pharaonic civilisation and a newly independent Egypt. For Joyce, hieroglyphs symbolised the origin point for the world’s cultures and nations; for Pynchon, the connection between digital code and the novel. In their modernist interpretations and applications, hieroglyphs bring together writing and new media technologies, language and the material world, and all the nations and languages of the globe....

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