Publication Details

Marshall, P. D. 1998, 'Thinking through New', M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, vol. 1, no. 1.


A friend of mine once tried to capture the feeling that one gets from a new thing. He decided that there was no word to describe the sensation of having an unblemished eraser when you were in primary school, but nevertheless it produced a kind of fascinating awe in the apparent perfection of the new. A similar feeling captures the new car owner in smelling the interior's recently minted plastic. Used car dealers would doubtless love to bottle that smell because it produces the momentary pleasure of new ownership. And I am sure there are certain people who are addicted to that smell, and go test drive new cars with no intention of buying just for the experience of the "new" smell. New clothes produce that same sensation: most of us ignore the label which says "wash before wearing" because we want to experience the incredible stiff tactile sensation of a new shirt. My friend called this gle-gle, and it is a pervasive relationship to New in a variety of guises.