Extrapolation

The Cinematic Gaze and Kuttner’s “Man with a Movie Camera”

Extrapolation (2018), 59, (3), 235–254.

Abstract

This essay examines how a modernist sense of space, often linked to the movies, made its way into sf pulp literature during the pre-war and early postwar period. It focuses on Henry Kuttner’s Tony Quade stories with their unlikely protagonist, a futuristic cinematographer, who while shooting films throughout the solar system must use his technological prowess to cope with outer space’s hazards and to fashion movies that, despite film’s limitations, afford a modernist sense of what is termed “the real thing.” Using Francesco Casetti’s analysis of cinematic modernism, the essay shows how film and its gaze helped codify “outer space” as part of sf’s modernist experience.

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“The Story Behind the Story.” Thrilling Wonder Stories 29.3 (Feb. 1947): 112–113. Print. Google Scholar

Suvin, Darko. Metamorphoses of Science Fiction. New Haven: Yale UP, 1979. Print. Metamorphoses of Science Fiction Google Scholar

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Virilio, Paul. The Lost Dimension. Trans. Daniel Moshenberg. New York: Semiotext(e), 1991. Print. The Lost Dimension Google Scholar

Yerke, T. Bruce. “Carlyle vs. Quade.” Thrilling Wonder Stories 12.1 (Aug. 1938): 8. Print. Carlyle vs. Quade. Thrilling Wonder Stories 12.1 8 Google Scholar

Ashley, Mike. The Time Machines: The Story of the Science Fiction Pulp Magazines from the Beginning to 1950. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 2000. Print. The Time Machines: The Story of the Science Fiction Pulp Magazines from the Beginning to 1950 Google Scholar

Ballard, J. G. “Which Way to Inner Space?” New Worlds 118 (May 1962): 2–3, 116–118. Print. Which Way to Inner Space? New Worlds 118 116 118 Google Scholar

Barnes, Arthur K., and Henry Kuttner. “The Energy Eaters.” Thrilling Wonder Stories 14.2 (Oct. 1939): 16–32. Print. The Energy Eaters. Thrilling Wonder Stories 14.2 16 32 Google Scholar

Barnes, Arthur K., and Henry Kuttner. “The Seven Sleepers.” Thrilling Wonder Stories 16.2 (May 1940): 93–116. Print. The Seven Sleepers. Thrilling Wonder Stories 16.2 93 116 Google Scholar

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” Illuminations. Ed. Hannah Arendt. Trans. Harry Zohn. New York: Schocken, 1969. 217–251. Print. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Illuminations 217 251 Google Scholar

Casetti, Francesco. Eye of the Century: Film, Experience, and Modernity. Trans. Erin Larkin with Jennifer Pranolo. New York: Columbia UP, 2005. Print. Eye of the Century: Film, Experience, and Modernity Google Scholar

Gernsback, Hugo. “Wanted: A Symbol for ‘Scientifiction.’” Amazing Stories 3.1 (Apr. 1928): 5. Print. Wanted: A Symbol for ‘Scientifiction.’ Amazing Stories 3.1 Google Scholar

Gernsback, Hugo. “Science Wonder Stories.” Science Wonder Stories 1.1 (Jun. 1929): 5. Print. Science Wonder Stories. Science Wonder Stories 1.1 5 Google Scholar

Hansen, Miriam. “America, Paris, the Alps: Kracauer (and Benjamin) on Cinema and Modernity.” Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life. Ed. Leo Charney and Vanessa R. Schwartz. Berkeley: U of California P, 1995. 362–402. Print. America, Paris, the Alps: Kracauer (and Benjamin) on Cinema and Modernity Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life 362 402 Google Scholar

Vanessa R. Schwartz. “The Mass Production of the Senses: Classical Modernism as Vernacular Modernism.” Modernism/Modernity 6.2 (1999): 59–77. Print. The Mass Production of the Senses: Classical Modernism as Vernacular Modernism. Modernism/Modernity 6.2 59 77 Google Scholar

James, Edward. Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1994. Print. Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century Google Scholar

Kern, Stephen. The Culture of Time and Space: 1880–1918. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2003. Print. The Culture of Time and Space: 1880–1918 Google Scholar

Kuttner, Henry. “Trouble on Titan.” Thrilling Wonder Stories 29.3 (Feb. 1947): 36–52. Print. Trouble on Titan. Thrilling Wonder Stories 29.3 36 52 Google Scholar

Kuttner, Henry. “Hollywood on the Moon.” Thrilling Wonder Stories 11.2 (Apr. 1938): 12–31. Print. Hollywood on the Moon. Thrilling Wonder Stories 11.2 12 31 Google Scholar

Kuttner, Henry. “Doom World.” Thrilling Wonder Stories 12.1 (Aug. 1938): 12–29. Print. Doom World. Thrilling Wonder Stories 12.1 12 29 Google Scholar

Kuttner, Henry. “The Star Parade.” Thrilling Wonder Stories 12.3 (Dec. 1938): 26–45. Print. The Star Parade. Thrilling Wonder Stories 12.3 26 45 Google Scholar

Leyda, Jay. Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Film. New York: Collier, 1973. Print. Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Film Google Scholar

Marcus, Laura. The Tenth Muse: Writing About Cinema in the Modernist Period. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Print. The Tenth Muse: Writing About Cinema in the Modernist Period Google Scholar

Roberts, Adam. The History of Science Fiction. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Print. The History of Science Fiction Google Scholar

Scheffauer, Herman G. “The Vivifying of Space.” 1920. Rptd. in Introduction to the Art of the Movies. Ed. Lewis Jacobs. New York: Noonday Press, 1960. 76–85. Print. The Vivifying of Space. Introduction to the Art of the Movies 76 85 Google Scholar

“The Story Behind the Story.” Thrilling Wonder Stories 29.3 (Feb. 1947): 112–113. Print. Google Scholar

Suvin, Darko. Metamorphoses of Science Fiction. New Haven: Yale UP, 1979. Print. Metamorphoses of Science Fiction Google Scholar

Vertov, Dziga. Kino-Eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov. Ed. Annette Michelson. Berkeley: U of California P, 1984. Print. Kino-Eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov Google Scholar

Vidler, Anthony. The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992. Print. The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely Google Scholar

Vidler, Anthony. Warped Space: Art, Architecture, and Anxiety in Modern Culture. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000. Print. Warped Space: Art, Architecture, and Anxiety in Modern Culture Google Scholar

Virilio, Paul. The Lost Dimension. Trans. Daniel Moshenberg. New York: Semiotext(e), 1991. Print. The Lost Dimension Google Scholar

Yerke, T. Bruce. “Carlyle vs. Quade.” Thrilling Wonder Stories 12.1 (Aug. 1938): 8. Print. Carlyle vs. Quade. Thrilling Wonder Stories 12.1 8 Google Scholar

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Details

Author details

Telotte, J. P.