Thursday, December 6, 2012

"Electricity has made angels of us all."

This is the first line of the film Oh! What a Blow that Phantom Gave Me, and book by the same name by anthropologist Edmund Carpenter. It is also reminiscent of my very first class in London last October, when this line gave me happy thrills.

In the 1970s, Carpenter's observations referred more to the telephone. Today, they apply equally to the internet. Coming home to the people I love has been interesting. Having spoken to them and seen them nearly every day for fourteen months, but not having hugged them or held their hand, makes it feel as though so much time has passed, and yet none at all.

I started reading this book in the last few weeks before leaving London, and finished it the day before I left. It was like coming full circle.

There's something pleasing about symmetry.


sahil said...

I didn't understand what electricity making angels of us means :(

wild iris said...

Perhaps I should have quoted the entire line! I think the movie only says this part (which I remember vividly from class), but the first line of the book is:
"Electricity has made angels of us all - not angels in the Sunday school sense of being good or having wings, but spirit freed from flesh, capable of instant transportation anywhere."