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Marshall McLuhan

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Without an anti-environment, all environments are invisible.

 
Marshall McLuhan

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Environments are invisible. Their groundrules, pervasive structure, and overall patterns elude easy perception.

 
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Marx shared with economists then and since the inability to make his concepts include innovational processes. It is one thing to spot a new product but quite another to observe the invisible new environments generated by the action of the product on a variety of pre-existing social grounds.

 
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It seems to me that many writers, by virtue of environments of culture, art and education, slip into writing because of their environments. I became a writer in spite of my environments. Understand, I am not criticizing those environments. They were good, solid and worthy. The fact that they were not inducive to literature and art is nothing in their disfavor. Never the less, it is no light thing to enter into a profession absolutely foreign and alien to the people among which one's lot is cast; a profession which seems as dim and faraway and unreal as the shores of Europe. The people among which I lived — and yet live, mainly — made their living from cotton, wheat, cattle, oil, with the usual percentage of business men and professional men. That is most certainly not in their disfavor. But the idea of a man making his living by writing seemed, in that hardy environment, so fantastic that even today I am sometimes myself assailed by a feeling of unreality. Never the less, at the age of fifteen, having never seen a writer, a poet, a publisher or a magazine editor, and having only the vaguest ideas of procedure, I began working on the profession I had chosen. I have accomplished little enough, but such as it is, it is the result of my own efforts. I had neither expert aid nor advice. I studied no courses in writing; until a year or so ago, I never read a book by anybody advising writers how to write. Ordinarily I had no access to public libraries, and when I did, it was to no such libraries as exist in the cities. Until recently — a few weeks ago in fact — I employed no agent. I have not been a success, and probably never will be. But whatever my failure, I have this thing to remember — that I was a pioneer in my profession, just as my grandfathers were in theirs, in that I was the first man in this section to earn his living as a writer.

 
Robert E. Howard
 

The present is always invisible because its environmental. No environment is perceptible, simply because it saturates the whole field of attention.

 
Marshall McLuhan
 

It makes no sense to expect or claim to ‘make the invisible visible’, or the unknown known, or the unthinkable thinkable. We can draw conclusions about the invisible; we can postulate its existence with relative certainty. But all we can represent is an analogy, which stands for the invisible but is not it.

 
Gerhard Richter
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