Publishers and Serialization

  • Grahame Smith
Part of the Literary Lives book series (LL)


That art does not simply arise unconstrained by external pressures is exemplified in the relationship between technology and music. Music is seen frequently as the ‘purest’ of art forms, the one most free from the inhibitions of content. But the history of music is at least partly the history of technological development and the possibilities this reveals for composers and performers. Until Mr Sax invented his instrument in 1840, the peculiar sound that we associate with the saxophone could not exist although there is an ancient tradition that conceives of musical forms as absolutes, of an ideal world in which all musical potentialities enjoy a Platonic form. But it is as absurd to imagine a composer longing to use a sound for the production of which no instrument existed, as it is to think of someone longing to take a photograph before cameras had been invented. The concept, as well as the reality, of photography could only be conceived of after the means to make it possible had come into being. This relationship between the material world and consciousness occurs also at a crucial moment in Dickens’s career, the events which coalesced to make possible the appearance of Pickwick Papers in April 1836.


Great Expectation Railway Carriage Monthly Number Serial Publication Serial Part 
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Copyright information

© Grahame Smith 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grahame Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.University of StirlingUK

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