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The Emergence of Pre-Cinema

Print Culture and the Optical Toy of the Literary Imagination

Authors: Gabriele, Alberto

  • Presents print culture and the literary imagination as an unacknowledged pre-cinematic optical toy
  • Offers a comprehensive and expansive discussion that stretches from Dante to William Wordsworth
  • Proposes a new understanding of the relationship between literature and modernity.
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Buy this book

eBook $69.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-54592-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $90.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59770-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

The book investigates the dispersed emergence of the new visual regime associated with nineteenth-century pre-cinematic spectacles in the literary imagination of the previous centuries. Its comparative angle ranges from the Medieval and Baroque period to the visual and stylistic experimentations of the Romantic age, in the prose of Anne Radcliffe, the experiments of Friedrich Schlegel, and in Wordsworth’s Prelude. The book examines the cultural traces of the transformation of perception and representation in art, architecture, literature, and print culture, providing an indispensable background to any discussion of nineteenth-century culture at large and its striving for a figurative model of realism. Understanding the origins of nineteenth-century mimesis through an unacknowledged genealogy of visual practices helps also to redefine novel theory and points to the centrality of the new definition of ‘historicism’ irradiating from Jena Romanticism for the structuring of modern cultural studies.

About the authors

Alberto Gabriele is the author of Reading Popular Culture in Victorian Print: Belgravia and Sensationalism and the forthcoming Sensationalism and the Genealogy of Modernity: A Global Nineteenth-Century Perspective. He is working on a project on the global circulation of print culture in the 1860s and has been, most recently, a Macgeorge fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Reviews

“This boundary-crossing study deftly traces the aesthetics of seeing from Dante, Shakespeare, and Renaissance painting to the age of Romanticism, demonstrating through close analysis and fascinating illustrations a conception of vision that illuminates the subject-position of the perceiver as much as what is perceived.  The Emergence of Pre-Cinema is an elegant combination of philosophy, science, cultural materialism, and close reading, culminating in strikingly fresh readings of works by Ann Radcliffe and William Wordsworth.  The book will be not only of interest to students of British Romanticism but to all who wish to trace the emergence of modernity in a rich variety of media.” (Clare A. Simmons, Professor of English, The Ohio State University, USA)

“In this capacious book, Alberto Gabriele ranges widely over European literature and culture to examine the psychological and epistemological reverberations of the visual phenomena of the ‘pre-cinematic’. Moving backwards from nineteenth-century optical toys, into Worsdworth, Ann Radcliffe and Schlegel, Gabriele identifies the pre-cinematic with a self-reflexivity towards mimesis, a modernity that he argues to be evident in various narrative forms. This book sheds new light on the complex and nuanced engagement between literature and the modalities of vision.” (John Plunkett, Associate Professor of English, Exeter University, UK)

Table of contents (5 chapters)

  • Introduction: The Emergence of Pre-Cinema

    Gabriele, Alberto

    Pages 1-35

  • From Analogia Entis to the Threshold of Self-Reflexivity in the Poetry of Dante, Donne and Shakespeare

    Gabriele, Alberto

    Pages 37-64

  • The Modern(ist) Reader: Friedrich Schlegel’s Fragments, the Emergence of Modern Philology and the Montage Effect of Industrial Modernity

    Gabriele, Alberto

    Pages 65-97

  • A Map to the Panorama: Intellectualized Vision and the Unrestrained Power of Shifting Forms in Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho

    Gabriele, Alberto

    Pages 99-160

  • British Flâneurie, ca. 1805: William Wordsworth as Man with a Movie Camera and the Aesthetic Polarities of the Emerging Modernity

    Gabriele, Alberto

    Pages 161-206

Buy this book

eBook $69.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-54592-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $90.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59770-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Emergence of Pre-Cinema
Book Subtitle
Print Culture and the Optical Toy of the Literary Imagination
Authors
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-54592-3
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-54592-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-59770-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 229
Number of Illustrations and Tables
4 b/w illustrations, 12 illustrations in colour
Topics