Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Published: 23rd Feb '23
Available to order, but very limited on stock. If we have issues obtaining a copy, we will let you know..
A book that invites you to listen more closely to the beepers, bells, and buzzers that have shaped modern minds.
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. Alarms are alarming. They wake us up, demand our attention and force us to attend to things we’ve preferred to ignore. But alarms also allow us to feel secure, to sleep and to retreat from alertness. They take over vigilance on our behalf. From the alarm clock and the air-raid siren to the doorbell and the phone alert, the history of alarms is also the history of work, security, technology and emotion. Alarm responds to culture’s most urgent calls to attention by examining all kinds of alarms, from the restless presence of the alarm clock in modernist art to the siren – the sound of the police – in classic hip hop. More than just bells and whistles, alarms are objects that have defined sleeping and waking, safety and danger, and they have fundamentally shaped our understanding of the mind and its capacity for attention. Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
By revealing the uncanny ubiquity of alarms in our daily life, by making us smile about their profound ambivalence, Alice Bennett has written a pleasurable and soothing book. From burglary to belatedness, from house fires to climate change, this exemplary collaboration between literary studies and the social sciences sheds a reflexive, nuanced and joyful light on our darker anxieties. A most accessible, elegant and important lesson in attention ecology. * Yves Citton, Professor in Literature and Media, University Paris 8, France, and author of The Ecology of Attention *