In the course of writing this book I have incurred many debts, intellectual and otherwise. I would like to extend a special thanks to Fredric Jameson, who inspired this project in numerous ways. He was a singular teacher and extraordinary reader, and I am grateful for his intellectual example. Without his commitment to my project, this book would not have been possible. To Bengt Landgren, a model of savoir-faire and an exceptionally generous critic, I also owe a special debt of gratitude. His vast knowledge of modernism, expertise in literary theory, and shrewd observations have enriched my work. Barbara Herrnstein Smith introduced me to new ways of thinking about the art and theories of technoscience. An exemplary reader, she scrutinized earlier versions of this book, always hitting the mark. I have learnt a great deal from her about how to craft an argument. I am equally grateful to Toril Moi, for her friendship, exacting readings, and hard questions. She supported my work at every step of the way, from the initial stirrings to finished manuscript. She is a true source of intellectual inspiration. I also want to thank Valentin Y. Mudimbe, Michael Hardt, Torsten Pettersson, and the late Naomi Schor for their gracious assistance and valuable suggestions.
I have benefited from the insight of friends and colleagues, sometimes without them knowing it. My great friends Anders Stephanson and Rebecca Karl read through early versions of the manuscript, and I have learned much from their extensive observations. A series of conversations about cinema studies proved essential: my thanks to Catherine Benamou, Norman Klein, Jennifer Parchesky, and Tom Whiteside. I have also benefited from exchanges with Keith Wailoo about the history of medical technology. For various kinds of assistance, I thank Åsa Beckman, Jonathan Beller, Renu Bora, Marta Braun, Nina Danius, Hans-Göran Ekman, Aris Fioretos, Stefan Helgesson, Julia Hell, Tina Jonsson, Eleanor Kaufman, Arne Melberg, Reinhart Meyer-Kalkus, Hank Okazaki, Hans Ruin, Charles Salas, Yaël Schlick, Per Stam, Neferti Tadiar, Astrid Söderbergh Widding, and Xudong Zhang. I would also like to thank Catherine Rice, Teresa Jesionowski, Melissa Oravec, and the reviewers at Cornell University Press for their commitment to my project.
I am grateful to the Getty Research Institute, and especially to Michael Roth, for their support when I was completing the manuscript and researched modernist art and other visual material for my book. The staff of