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The Reveries of Flight: Popular Media and the Policy of Vision in English Romantic Culture

The author provides a way to understand the roots of our modernist culture from the aspect of visuality through the examination of 18th- and 19th-century elite (or "polite") culture (Reynolds, Addison, Kant, Eberhard, Coleridge, Wordsworth) and popular (or "vulgar") culture, primarily by focusing on the status and the influence of an early phenomenon of mass media: the panorama painting. The book has a dual aim: to detect the reason (or better to say, the ideology) behind the aversion from the visual in 18th- and 19th-century polite or elite culture (in favor of the verbal expression) as well as to examine the policy which drew the demarcation line between (our modernist concept of) elite and popular culture. The re-examination of the panorama painting as a cultural phenomenon opens up the possibility for critical inquiry into the ideological presuppositions of aesthetics and visuality.

The book takes a cross-disciplinary approach in order to survey the roots of our present day visual and media culture. The author claims that the controversial theoretical framework attached to vision manifest in the binarism of Crary's idea of the disintegrating power which results from the body's insertion into sight and Oettermann's or Haraway's idea about the disembodied scientific observing position. The author relates these theories to the aesthetic and poetic concerns of 18th- and 19th-century theoreticians and poets in order to revaluate the received answers which are attached to the concept of social eminence based artistic values. The book closes off with the analysis of the London chapter of The Prelude to illuminate how the work's claimed cultural superiority is undermined by the influence of visual stimuli.

Product details »
  • Number of pages: 198
  • Size: A5_01
  • Type of Cover: kartonalt
  • ISBN: 9789630585262
  • Article code: 4000014355
  • Publication date: 2007