Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Mercury of the Waves: Modern Cryptology and U.S. Literature

Veggian, Henry (2006) Mercury of the Waves: Modern Cryptology and U.S. Literature. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (2MB) | Preview


Mercury of the Waves: Modern Cryptology and U.S. LiteratureHenry VeggianUniversity of Pittsburgh, 2005The doctoral dissertation examines United States literary and institutional history during the period 1900-1973. The study demonstrates how cryptology was detached from its philological residence over three phases (the amateur, institutional, and professional). In the amateur phase, which was regionally specific to the Midwest, the science was characterized by social reformist debate. In the second, institutional phase, the amateur version of cryptology was institutionalized by the United States federal government following WWI to imitate a specific institutional model (that of the French Bureau du Chiffre). During the third, professional phase, the prior two were enhanced during the interwar period by linguists, mechanical engineers, literary modernists, and cryptologists. Running parallel to this narrative is a modern American literary genealogy that, beginning with Henry Adams and extending through Thomas Pynchon, engaged cryptology during that same era. The dissertation locates their discourse within Vichian humanism, and in doing so it first explains how modern literature (and the American novel in particular), its practices, and institutions contributed discursive rhetoric, hermeneutical methods, and institutional models to the emergent 20th century U.S. security state; secondly, it argues that a particular genealogical style that spans the writings of Henry Adams, T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Raymond Chandler, and Thomas Pynchon elaborated an diverse rhetorical discourse by which to respond to that assemblage of new institutional entities, and without which that assemblage would be incoherent.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Veggian, Henryhevst4@pitt.eduHEVST4
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBove, Paul Above@pitt.eduBOVE
Committee MemberClarke, Ericeclarke@pitt.eduECLARKE
Committee MemberArac,
Committee MemberLandy, Marciamlandy@pitt.eduMLANDY
Date: 24 March 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 1 December 2005
Approval Date: 24 March 2006
Submission Date: 30 November 2005
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > English
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: 20th century American Literature; Cryptology; Henry Adams; Linguistics; Modernism; Philology; Raymond Chandler; T.S. Eliot; Thomas Pynchon; William Faulkner
Other ID:, etd-11302005-114823
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:06
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:52


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item