write a reading response about the book I provide below

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timer Asked: Jan 20th, 2021

Question Description

1, this reading response is about 500 words around

2, this book is called '' The coming to the print to Europe ''

3, just write what you think after you read this book

4, response paper should consist a brief summary followed by a critical analysis of the

author’s argument. The response should identify the main argument of the text, explain how the

author supports it, and discuss whether you agree or disagree with it, and why.

I provide one example about the response

I provide the standard for evaluation

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Railroad Space and Railroad Time Author(s): Wolfgang Schivelbusch Source: New German Critique , Spring, 1978, No. 14 (Spring, 1978), pp. 31-40 Published by: Duke University Press Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/488059 REFERENCES Linked references are available on JSTOR for this article: https://www.jstor.org/stable/488059?seq=1&cid=pdfreference#references_tab_contents You may need to log in to JSTOR to access the linked references. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at https://about.jstor.org/terms Duke University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to New German Critique This content downloaded from 129.173.72.87 on Tue, 19 Jan 2021 15:33:04 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Railroad Space and Railroad Time by Wolfgang Schivelbusch Economiquement, les chemins de fer operent donc ... comme un veritable rapprochement des distances ... Lille se trouve tout a coup transport6 a Louvres; Calais a Pontoise; le Havre a Poissy; rouen a Sevres ou a Asnleres; Reims a Pantin' Strasbourg a Meaux; Lyon entre Melun et Corbeil; Marseilles a Nemours; Perpignan a Pithiviers; Bordeaux a Chartres ou a Etampes; Nantes a Arpajon, etc. (Economically, the railways' operation ... causes distances to diminish ... Lille suddenly finds itself next to Lourves; Calais to Pontoise; le Havre to Poissy; Rouen to Sevres or to Asnieres; Reims to Pantin; Strasbourg to Meaux; Lyon to a place halfway between Melun and Corbeil; Marseilles to Nemours; Perpignan to Pithiviers; Bordeaux to Chartres or to Etampes; Nantes to Arpajon, etc.) --Constantin Pecqueur, 1839 "Annihilation of space and time": this is how the early 19th century characterizes the effect of railroad travel. The concept is based on the speed that the new means of transport is able to achieve. A given spatial distance, to be covered, traditionally, in a fixed duration of travel or transport time, can suddenly be dealt with in a fraction of that time: to put it another way, the same duration now permits one to cover the old spatial distance many times over. In terms of transport economics, this means a shrinking of space: "Distances practically diminish in the exact ratio of the speed of personal locomotion," Lardner says in his Railway Economy. 1 The average traveling speed of the early railways in England is 20 to 30 miles an hour, which is roughly three times the speed previously achieved by stagecoaches.2 Thus, any given distance is covered in one-third of the customary time: temporally that distance shrinks to one-third of its former length. In early 19th century writings the temporal diminution is mostly 1. D. Lardner, Railway Economy (London 1850), p. 35. 2. According to H. G. Lewin, The Railway Mania and its Aftermath 1845-52 (London, 1936), the average speed per hour was between 20 and 30 miles, up to the year 1845 (p. 95). The fastest English train, the Great Western Express, had a speed per hour of 46 miles. The average speed of stagecoaches, according to Lardner, was a little below eight miles (Railway Economy, p. 36); the fastest coaches made up to ten miles an hour, according to Lewin. The top speed that English trains achieved in the 1840s, according to Lardner, frequently was up to 60 or 70 miles (Railway Economy, p. 176). 31 This content downloaded from 129.173.72.87 on Tue, 19 Jan 2021 15:33:04 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 32 New German Critique expressed in terms of shrinking of space. An article published in the Quarterly Review in 1839 speaks of the "gradual annihilation, approaching almost to the final extinction, of that space and of those distances which have hitherto been supposed unalterably to separate the various nations of the globe," and continues: For instance, supposing that railroads, even at our present simmering rate of travelling, were to be suddenly established all over England, the whole population of the country would, speaking metaphorically, at once advance en masse, and place their chairs nearer to the fireside of their metropolis by two-thirds of the time which now separates them from it; they would also sit nearer to one another by two-thirds of the time which now respectively alienates them. If the rate were to be sufficiently accelerated, this process would be repeated; our harbours, our dock-yards, our towns, the whole of our rural population, would again not only draw nearer to each other by two- thirds, but all would proportionally approach the national hearth. As distances were thus annihilated, the surface of our country would, as it were, shrivel in size until it became not much bigger than one immense city.3 The temporal shrinkage seen as a spatial one appears in an even more extravagant guise in the work of Constantin Pecqueur, the economist and disciple of Saint-Simon, whose lEconomie Sociale received a prize from the Institut de France in 1838. Here, the temporally shrunk transport space appears as a new geography of France, a geography based on the new conditions of speed, a condensed geography, as it were. The cities of France approach each other while simultaneously advancing on Paris. These changes in location, enumerated in the epigraph to this chapter, Pecqueur summarizes by stating that it is now possible to see "the new France as fitting into the space of the old Ile-de-France, or its equivalent." The diminution of the transport distances seems to create a new, reduced, geography, yet it does not alter the size of the spaces connected by the new mode of transport. "Yet by a sort of miracle," says the Quarterly Review author after describing the shrinking process, "every man's field would be found not only where it was, but as large as ever it was!" Pecqueur expresses the same notion in literary hyperbole: the diminished transport geography of France contains the true geography of France, the one appearing within the other, in a condensed form: "Each bit of terrain, each field on this surface would still remain intact; so would every house in a village, the village itself, or the town; every territory with its village in the center would remain a province; on the map of the imagination, all of these would finally be reproduced and reduced down to the infinitely small! As for Louvres, or Pontoise, or Chartres, or Arpajon, etc., it is obvious that they will just get lost in some street of Paris or its suburbs." 4 The notion that a French provincial town will fit into a Paris street 3. Quarterly Review, 63 (1839), 22 4. Constantin Pecqueur, Economie sociale (Paris, 1839) 1 p. 26 This content downloaded from 129.173.72.87 on Tue, 19 Jan 2021 15:33:04 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Railroad Space & Railroad Time 33 demonstrates that the alteration of spatial relationships through the speed mustered by the railroad is not simply a process that diminishes space, but that it is a dual one: it both diminishes and expands space. The dialectic of this process states that the diminution, i.e. the temporal shrinking of transportation, causes the expansion of transport space. The nation's contraction into a metropolis, as described in the Quarterly Review, conversely appears as an expansion of the metropolis: by establishing transport lines to ever more outlying areas, it tends to incorporate the entire nation. The epoch of suburbs, of the amoebic proliferation of the formerly contained cites into the surrounding countryside, begins with the railroads. This is Lardner, 1851: It is not now unusual for persons whose place of business is in the centre of the capital, to reside with their families at a distance of from fifteen to twenty miles from that centre. Nevertheless, they are able to arrive at their respective shops, counting-houses, or offices, at an early hour of the morning, and to return without inconvenience to their residence at the usual time in the evening. Hence in all directions round the metropolis in which railways are extended, habitations are multiplied, and a considerable part of the former population of London has been diffused in these quarters.5 The notion that the railroad annihilates space and time is not related that expansion of space that results from the incorporation of ever ne spaces into the transport network. What is experienced as annihilated is t traditional space-time continuum which was characterized by the o transport technology. Organically embedded in nature as it was, th technology, in its mimetic relationship with the space traversed, permitt the traveler to perceive that space as a living entity. Bergson speaks of t "dur6e," duration, of the road from one place to another: this is not a objective mathematical unit. It is dependent on transport technology, th way, according to Durkheim, a society's space-time perception are function of its social rhythm and its territory.6 "What is decisive," say Edwin Strauss, discussing the psychology of distances, "is not th objectively measured distance, but the relation of such distance to potentiality."7 The transport technology is the material substratum of potentiality, i.e., it is in equal measure the material substratum of the traveler's space-time perception. If an essential element of a given soc cultural space-time structure undergoes change, this will affect the enti structure. Our perception of space-time loses its accustomed orientatio Sorokin, following Durkheim's lead, distinguishes between socio-cultur and mathematical physical motions of space-time and describes t hypothetical effects of a sudden replacement of customary socio-cultur time measures with purely mathematical ones: 5. Lardner, p. 36. 6. E. Durkheim, Les formes d6lmentaires de la vie religieuse (Paris, 1912), pp. 14-15, 6287. Erwin Straus, Von Sinn der Sinne (Berlin, 1956), p. 409. This content downloaded from 129.173.72.87 on Tue, 19 Jan 2021 15:33:04 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 34 New German Critique If we try to replace socio-cultural time by a purely quantitative time, time becomes devitalized. It loses its reality, and we find ourselves in an exceeding difficult position in our efforts to orient ourselves in the time process, to find out 'where we are' and where are the other social phenomena on 'the bridge of time'. (Italics original.)8 Thus, the idea that the railroad annihilates space and time has to be seen as that kind of reaction of the perceptive powers, which, formed by a certain transport technology, suddenly find it replaced by an entirely new one. Compared to the eotechnical, the space-time relationship created by the railroad appears abstract and disorienting, because the railroad in realizing Newton's mechanics negates precisely all that characterized eotechnical traffic: it does not appear embedded in the space of the landscape the way coach and highway are; it seems to strike its way through it. Heinrich Heine captures one such moment of the irritation experienced by the traditional space-time consciousness. A propos of the opening of railway lines from Paris to Rouen and to Orleans in 1843 he speaks of the "tremendous foreboding such as we always feel when there comes an enormous, an unheard-of event whose consequences are imponderable and incalculable," and calls the railroad a "providential event," comparable to the inventions of gunpowder and printing, "which swings mankind in a new direction, and changes the color and shape of life." Further: What changes must now occur, in our way of looking at things, in our notions! Even the elementary concepts of time and space have begun to vacillate. Space is killed by the railways, and we are left with time alone ... Now you can travel to Orleans in four and a half hours, and it takes no longer to get to Rouen. Just imagine what will happen when the lines to Belgium and Germany are completed and connected up with their railways! I feel as if the mountains and forests of all countries were advancing on Paris. Even now, I can smell the German linden trees; the North Sea's breakers are rolling against my door.9 We have clearly stated the two contradictory moments of the same motion: on the one hand, the railroad opens up new spaces that were not accessible before it; on the other, it does so by destroying space, viz., the space in-between. That in-between space, or travel space, which it was possible to 'savour' while using the slow and work-intensive eotechnical form of transport, disappears on the railroads. The railroad knows only 8. Pitirim A. Sorokin, Sociocultural Casuality, Space, and Time (Durham/N.C., 1943), p. 197. 9. "Welche Veranderungen miissen jetzt eintreten in unserer Anschauungsweise und in unseren Vorstellungen! Sogar die Elementarbegriffe von Zeit und Raum get6tet, und es bleibt uns nur noch die Zeit iibrig ... In vierthalb Stunden reist man jetzt nach Orleans, in ebensoviel Stunden nach Rouen. Was wird das erst geben, wenn die Linien nach Belgien und Deutschland ausgefiihrt und mit den dortigen Bahnen verbunden sein werden! Mir ist, als kimen die Berge und Wilder aller Lainder auf Paris angeriickt. Ich rieche schon den Duft der deutschen Linden; vor meiner Tiir brandet die Nordsee." Heinrich Heine, Lutetia, pt. 2, LVII (Ed. Elster, 6, p. 360) This content downloaded from 129.173.72.87 on Tue, 19 Jan 2021 15:33:04 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Railroad Space & Railroad Time 35 points of departure and destination. "They (the railways - W.S.) only serve the points of departure, way stations, and terminal, which are mostly at great distances from each other," says a French author in 1840; "they are of no use whatsoever to the intervening spaces, which they traverse with disdain, providing them only with a useless spectacle." 10 As the space between the points that are served, the traditional travelling space, is destroyed, those points move into each other's immediate vicinity: one might say that they collide. They lose their old "here and now," which used to be determined by the spaces between. The isolation that spatial distance created between localities was the very essence of their here-andnow, their self-assured and complacent individuality. Heine's vision of the North Sea breaking on his doorstep in Paris is tinged with "tremendous foreboding" because both localities - Paris and the North Sea - are still presented in their mutually isolate, "worlds apart" here-and-now: thus their collision appears unfathomable. Thirty years later, as a fine-mesh network of railroad lines connects all the essential landscapes of France and the rest of Europe with each other, that kind of consciousness is no longer real. The landscapes appear, regardless of their geographical remoteness, as close and as easily accessible as the railroads have made them. One generation after Heine, the more privileged inhabitants of Paris have the option to let themselves be transported in a matter of hours to a region that is as distant from their city as Heine's North Sea. The Mediterranean does not extend its shores right up to Parisian thresholds, but it can be reached so much more quickly than before, that the journey there is no longer experienced as such.The Parisians who migrate south in the winter see nothing but blue skies and sea. As Mallarm6 writes in the journal he edits, La derniere mode, in the winter of 1874/5, they are "calm, self-absorbed people, paying no attention to the invisible landscapes of the journey. To leave Paris and to get to where the sky is clear, that is their desire." 11 These are no longer travelers - rather, as Ruskin puts it, these are human parcels who dispatch themselves to their destination by means of the railroad, arriving as they left Paris, untouched by the space traversed. Even though the railroad cannot bring the remote landscapes physically to Paris, the speedy and comfortable accessibility of those regions creates a consciousness of distance that approximates Heine's vision of space. The landscape that can be reached by train from Paris, realizes itself for the Parisians by means of the train. It then appears as the product or appendage of the railroad, as in a phrase in Mallarm6's journal: "Normandy, which, 10. "Ils ne servent qu'aux points de depart, de station et d'arrivee, ordinairement fort distants les uns des autres; ils sont perdus pour les espaces intermediaires, qu'ils traversent avec dedain, et a qui ils n'offrent qu'un vain spectacle." Charles Dunoyer, Esprit et methodes compares de l'Angleterre et de la France dans les entreprises de travaux publics et en particulier des chemins de fer (Paris, 1840), p. 104. 11. S. Mallarm6, Oeuvres compldtes Ed. Pleiade (Paris, 1970), p. 843. This content downloaded from 129.173.72.87 on Tue, 19 Jan 2021 15:33:04 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 36 New German Critique like Britanny, is part of the Western Railway." 12 But if Normandy and Brittany are part of the Western Railway, being its destinations, then the point of departure of that same railway, the station in Paris, becomes the entrance hall to those regions. This is a common enough notion in the 19th century: it can be found in every one of Baedeker's travel guides that recommends a certain railroad station for each journey. In his journal, Mallarm6 emphasizes it by printing, under the heading "Gazette et programme de la quinzaine," the following sub-headings representing equally important institutions for entertainment: Les librairies, Les theatres, Les gares (though there are several issues listing Les voyages instead of Les gares). Thus a trip to some region served by the railroad appears no more or less important than a visit to the theater or the library: the purchase of a train ticket is equivalent to that of one to the theater. The landscape thus purchased becomes imaginary, being to the railroad as the stage is to the theater. The distance from the entrance hall of a Paris train station to the target landscape becomes more or less commensurate with the distance from the theater lobby to the box seat. A generation after Mallarm6, Marcel Proust's protagonist-narrator discusses the difference between a journey by train and one in a "motorcar": The journey was one that would now be made, probably, in a motor-car, which would be supposed to render it more interesting. We shall see too that, accomplished in such a way, it would even be in a sense more genuine, since one would be following more clearly, in a closer intimacy, the various contours by which the surface of the earth is wrinkled. But after all, the special attraction of the journey lies not in our being able to alight at places on the way and to stop altogether as soon as we grow tired, but in its making the difference between departure and arrival not as imperceptible but as intense as possible, so that we are conscious of it in its totality, intact, as it existed in our mind when imagination bore us from the place in which we were living right to the very heart of a place we longed to see, in a single sweep which seemed miraculous to us not so much because it covered a certain distance as because it united two distinct individualities of the world, took us from one name to another name; and this difference is accentuated (more than in a form of locomotion in which, since one can stop and alight where one chooses, there can scarcely be said to be any point of arrival) by the mysterious operation that is performed in those peculiar places, railway stations, ...
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