A tribute to and a lament for Marshall McLuhan.  Five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday, I present one of McLuhan’s observations and talk about its relevance today.  300 ideas. 300 days.  300 posts.

What a month!

Marshall McLuhan (December 28, 1967, age 55). You can say that again!

It’s a great to be home.  Hospitals and doctors are fine things but if you have a choice, I assure you, it’s best if you can avoid them.  On November 25 I underwent the most horrendous operation: 22 hours to remove a brain tumor.  Benign they told me, thank God, but still a devilish tricky thing; it was growing like weed.  Had to come out it was the size of an avocado.  Doctors said I’d go blind or mad if it didn’t.  I came home on December 12.  I’m delighted to be alive.  The question is:  Who am I now and what will happen next?

Me (April 2010, age 57)  What did happen next?

If you’ve been reading this blog you know what I think about who he became and happened next –  In short, the operation necessary for his survival robbed McLuhan of his genius and although he lived another 13 years in which books were published by him largely in co-authorship with other people the spark that made the Gutenberg Galaxy (1962) and Understanding Media (1964)  was gone. [see series of posts starting here]

In the next couple of posts I’ll take a look at what McLuhan’s biographers – including the most recent biography by Douglas Coupland – have to say about the effects of this operation.

If true, what implications are there for our reading and understanding of Marshall McLuhan?

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading for this post

Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 28 December, 1967, pp. 349-50.

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Michael Hinton Thursday, April 15th, 2010
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Vol. 1 No Comments

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