Wide-ranging enough to encompass Buster Keaton, Charles Babbage, horses, and a man riding a bicycle while wearing a gas mask, The Counterfeiters is one of Hugh Kenner's greatest achievements. In this fascinating work of literary and cultural criticism, Kenner seeks the causes and outcomes of man's ability to simulate himself (a computer that can calculate quicker than we can) and his world (a mechanical duck that acts the same as a living one). This intertangling of art and science, of man and machine, of machine and art is at the heart of this book. He argues that the belief in art as a uniquely human expression is complicated and questioned by the prevalence of simulations--or "counterfeits"--in our culture. Kenner, with his characteristically accessible style and wit, brings together history, literature, science, and art to locate the personal in what is an increasingly counterfeit world.
Hugh Kenner (1923-2003) - born in Ontario, Canada - was one of the greatest literary critics of the 20th century. He taught at several universities during his lifetime and was a frequent contributor to the National Review. His numerous critical books include The Pound Era, Joyce's Voices, Gnomon, Samuel Beckett: A Critical Study, and Flaubert, Joyce and Beckett: The Stoic Comedians, several of which are forthcoming from, or are published by, Dalkey Archive Press.