Defenestration

Definition

Within the context of the quote, "a magazine rack defenestrated tins," (pg. 39) the word defenestrated means "thrown out the window", so the tins are discarded off the window-like shelves, and are replaced by a magazine rack. This is a pun on the idea that racks of word-filled magazines (novelties, so to speak) replace more habitual or utilitarian items behind cabinets with glass panes. At one time customers look in on those exposed items as through a window and pay for those items with company scrip rather than with cash. So, in two ways, the items were once less accessible. But the new items on the magazine rack are not utilitarian, rather their value requires interpretation. Customers must give the items on the magazine rack a quick review, evaluate the worth, before purchashing them. The scene emphasizes that the town's industry shifted from an economy based on industry to an economy based on tourism. Once that occurs the actual experience of living in that town, which tourists sought out of nostalgia, is lost.

The word 'defenestration' is usually used within the context of revolution. In this sense of the word, within the context of the book, Deus ex Machina; Logos, it is a subtle reference to the transition from the industrial revolution to a technological revolution.


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