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Insane Run

Railroad and Dark Modernity

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Wojciech Tomasik

This is a book about impending catastrophe. The metaphorical insane “run“ ends with the outbreak of the First World War. The book focuses on European culture of the late nineteenth century and the Polish contribution to it. The word “dark“ used to describe modernity is understood as a metaphor of gradual and permanent devaluation of the idea of progress, as a fading hope for the future of Europe as bright, predictable, prosperous, and safe. The “darkening“ also receives a literal sense. At the end of the nineteenth century, darkness found its way back to the public space – in the theaters, panoramas, dioramas, and “love tunnels“, which awaited the visitors of American and European amusement parks.

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