The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Literatures in English

By Brian McHale; Randall Stevenson | Go to book overview

Chapter 16
1970, Planet Earth: The
Imagination of the Global

Ursula K. Heise


Satellite View

The launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik-1 on 4 October 1957 changed not only the history of twentieth-century technology, but also politics, philosophy and aesthetics. It marked the start of a space race between the two Cold-War superpowers, with satellites put into orbit and the first humans, Yuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov in 1961, and John Glenn in 1962, undertaking orbital flights. Satellites and cosmonauts sent back photographs of Earth taken from space that enabled humankind, for the first time in history, to look at its planet as a whole. This new perspective galvanised the public as the planet’s beauty, its systemic interconnectedness and its limits all visibly emerged in photographs of the earth rising above the moon that were sent back by the Apollo 8 mission in 1968, and culminated in the ‘Blue Planet’ image generated by Apollo 17 in 1972 (Figure 16.1). ‘No Science Fiction expected this Globe-Eye Consciousness/ Simultaneous with opening a hatch on Heaven’, the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg comments in a poem on the occasion of the first moon-landing (Ginsberg 1984: 528). The emergent environmentalist movement seized on the symbol of Earth in space as an expression of the need for a new holistic consciousness, and featured it prominently at the celebration of the first Earth Day in 1970. In ecology as well as technology, the image of the ‘Blue Planet’ prompted new ways of thinking about the globe as a unitary system.

The utopian hopes that were sometimes connected with this icon undoubtedly arose in part because it seemed to offer an alternative view of a world bitterly divided between superpowers that fought proxy wars around the globe and kept each other in check with the threat of nuclear annihilation. But they also emerged because individuals were in fact becoming more connected with the rest of the globe through advances in communications and transportation technologies during the 1960s. The still relatively new medium of television broadcast images of remote places and cultures into the average family’s living-room even as the development of the jet airliner put distant areas of the globe within reach of tourist travel. These trends toward technological integration accelerated in subsequent decades, with the introduction of the personal computer and the Internet. At the same time, the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the gradual transformation of China set the signal for the worldwide spread of capitalist economic structures that many consider the core of what we have come to call ‘globalisation’. Perhaps unsurprisingly, finance capital reappropriated the image of the Blue

-201-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Literatures in English
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 296

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.