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.

Which came first the film or the book?

Marshall McLuhan (1964, age 52).  The book of course

“Even the film industry regards all its greatest achievements as derived from novels.”

Me (November, 2010, age 58). Can you think of any film that inspired a great book?

McLuhan observes that the book and the film are closely related to one another.  As evidence for this he points to great films being inspired by novels and the difficulty of imagining a film being based on a newspaper.  Yet it is odd that the forces of inspiration seem to work in only one direction.  It is easy to think of novels (and plays and even comic books and video games) that inspired great (ok may be not great, but not completely schlock) films, but hard to think of any film that inspired a great (or even reasonably good) book and none outside the realm of fantasy and science fiction.  No disrespect to Alan Dean Foster, but he’s no Charlotte Bronte.


Cordially, Marshall and Me


Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, 1964, p. 286.

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Michael Hinton Thursday, November 4th, 2010
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Communication, Culture, Technology, Vol. 1 No Comments

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