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McLuhan is the message

The Story


Marshall McLuhan reads only the right-hand pages of any serious book he picks up, he says: any well-written book tends to be enormously redundant and it keeps him awake if he has to mentally fill in the other side. McLuhan is a University of Toronto communications professor and author of Understanding Media who is willing to interpret the meaning of just about any topic the producers of the CBC-TV program Telescope can throw at him. In this 1967 episode, McLuhan is seen in his office, at home, on the subway, inside Toronto City Hall, at a comic-book shop, and in a nightclub. His wife Corinne appears throughout to talk about her husband, amd he discusses subjects ranging from Quebec separatism and war reporting to comic books, airplane travel, and the relationship between new technology and nostalgia.

Medium: Television
Broadcast Date: Apr. 13, 1967
Program: Telescope
Host: Fletcher Markle
Guests: Marshall McLuhan, Corinne McLuhan
Duration: 21:25

Did You know?


• In the middle of this clip, host Fletcher Markle notes that McLuhan has recently accepted a position at Fordham University in the Bronx. It was a one-year appointment; McLuhan then returned to the University of Toronto, where he remained for the rest of his career.

• Corinne McLuhan was from Texas; the pair met while McLuhan was working on his Ph.D. at Saint Louis University and were married in 1939. They had six children.

• Seven months after this program aired, surgeons successfully operated on McLuhan to remove a benign brain tumour the size of a lemon.


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