- Benedikt, Michael. Cyberspace: First Steps . Cambridge, MA: MIT P, 1991.
- Bross, Michael. “McLuhan’s Theory of Sensory Functions: A Critique and Analysis.” Journal of Communication Inquiry 16.1 (1992): 91-107.
96; 105: “There is absolutely no evidence that the nervous system is capable of ‘amputating’ any of its parts or functions.. [Nevertheless, McLuhan] was absolutely correct in insisting on the primary role of sensory functions as the cornerstone of any understanding how individuals apprehend and interact with their environment and his insights of [ sic ] how the advent of print. and the electronic media. have altered and accelerated changes in the energy mosaic the world presents to our senses is still unequalled in its scope and incisiveness.”
- Curtis, James. “Marshall McLuhan [review].” Technology and Culture 32 (Oct 1991): 1141-3.
1142: “[Philip] Marchand’s book [ Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger ] makes us realize McLuhan’s affinities with another transitional figure, another cranky genius, Leo Tolstoy. Both believed in the importance of religion but quarreled with clergymen; both believed in the importance of family but quarreled with their children. Both took an intense interest in social change, if only because they found it so disturbing. Both liked to pontificate and attracted disciples; neither was capable of engaging in the give-and-take of true dialogue. Finally, McLuhan had some of Tolstoy’s tragic quality in that this man who loved words so much could communicate only orally, and thus to a small audience. As Marchand puts it, ‘Unlike writers who put the best part of themselves in their books, McLuhan could never quite convey in print his own vitality and the free play of his mind’ (p. 275). This tragic quality comes through in Marchand’s moving account of McLuhan’s last year, after a stoke in September 1979 left him unable to speak: ‘So began McLuhan’s stay in an unearthly purgatory, in which he understood everything but could say nothing. For a man who lived to talk, it was the ultimate torment’ (p. 271). No one has more fairly assessed the lasting meaning of McLuhan’s legacy than Marchand: ‘McLuhan’s ability to stimulate, in the phrase of Matthew Arnold, ‘a stream of fresh and free though upon our stock notions and habits.'”
- Ferguson, Marjorie. “Marshall McLuhan Revisited: 1960s Zeitgeist Victim or Pioneer Postmodernist?” Media, Culture and Society 13.1 (1991): 71-90.
84: “Lefebvre request[ed] that some attention be paid to McLuhan even if he was ‘un peu charlatanesque.'”
- James, Beverly. “From Milton to McLuhan [review].” Journal of Communication 41 (Spring 1991): 216-17.
217: “As a sweeping survey of Western thought, the book [From Milton to McLuhan: The Ideas behind American Journalism] inevitably invites criticism of the author’s choice of key figures: Why a chapter on McLuhan and only fleeting references to Meiklejoh, Marcuse, and Mill? But this is a minor point. Ultimately, the book’s value has less to do with teaching the ideas of any particular thinker than with charting the broad contours of the intellectual tradition and provoking curiosity for further study. The author is certainly successful on these counts.”
- Lake, Paul. “Verse That Print Bred.” Sewanee Review 99.4 (1991): 594-99.
“McLuhan, in The Medium is the Massage , reminds us that ‘Homer’s Iliad was the cultural encyclopedia of pre-literate Greece,’ and that ‘these Bardic songs were rhythmically organized with great formal mastery into metrical patterns which insured that everyone was psychologically attuned to memorization and easy recall.’ McLuhan also reminds us of the communal basis of this highly patterned poetry: ‘What the Greeks meant by “poetry” was radically different from what we mean by poetry. Their “poetic” expression was a product of a collective psyche and mind. The mimetic form, a technique that exploited rhythm, meter, and music, achieved the desired psychological response in the listener. Listeners could memorize with greater ease what was sung than what was said.’
“These preliterate people, like all such people, lived in what McLuhan calls ‘acoustic space,’ which he describes as ‘boundless, directionless, horizonless.’ McLuhan argues that in such preliterate societies the ear dominates, and that only with the invention of a phonetic alphabet–with the subsequent need to string its sonic bits together into logical sequences – do the eye and visual space begin to dominate our perception and thought.'”
- McCafferey, Larry, ed. Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk and Postmodern Fiction . Durham: Duke UP, 1991.
18-19: “McLuhan presented his message in a medium that was ‘pomo’ before its time. . Another candidate for the ‘Godfather of Cyberpunk.”
- Scholes, Robert and Brenda J. Willis. “Linguists, Literacy, and the Intentionality of Marshall McLuhan’s Western Man.” Literacy and Orality . Eds. David R. Olson and Nancy Torrance. Cambridge, Eng: Cambridge UP, 1991. 215-35.