Fiction In The Age Of Photography

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$28.50
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $19.85
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 30%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $19.85   
  • New (5) from $29.70   
  • Used (6) from $19.85   

Overview


Victorians were fascinated with how accurately photography could copy people, the places they inhabited, and the objects surrounding them. Much more important, however, is the way in which Victorian people, places, and things came to resemble photographs. In this provocative study of British realism, Nancy Armstrong explains how fiction entered into a relationship with the new popular art of photography that transformed the world into a picture. By the 1860s, to know virtually anyone or anything was to understand how to place him, her, or it in that world on the basis of characteristics that either had been or could be captured in one of several photographic genres. So willing was the readership to think of the real as photographs, that authors from Charles Dickens to the Brontës, Lewis Carroll, H. Rider Haggard, Oscar Wilde, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster, and Virginia Woolf had to use the same visual conventions to represent what was real, especially when they sought to debunk those conventions. The Victorian novel's collaboration with photography was indeed so successful, Armstrong contends, that literary criticism assumes a text is gesturing toward the real whenever it invokes a photograph.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Rey Chow
Here is intellectual leadership at its best. Entirely responsive to yet entirely independent of the conventional explanations of the origins of nineteenth- and twentieth-century British fiction, Nancy Armstrong argues that the photographic image has long been present as a structuring principle in both realist and modernist modes of writing. By foregrounding visuality, she radically reconceptualizes the relationship between realism and modernism, bringing about a paradigm shift with which scholars will have to reckon in the decades to come. As much a model of critical imagination as it is of scholarly integrity, this book accomplishes what only the rarest of books do: it teaches you how to think.
Michael Holly
Nancy Armstrong, a well-known literary critic, has contributed a major work to the new field of visual studies. The crossover is significant, for she manages to highlight the complex interplays between work and image, photography and prose, production and reception, in order to show how image-making subtly replaced writing as the grounding of fiction. The pictorial persuasions that she charts in a variety of Victorian genres subtly invert standard notions of both realism and readership. Armstrong's range is broad, her erudition and imagination are impressive, and her command of theory in putting it all together is simply stunning.
Janet Wolff
Exploring a dazzling variety of topics--landscape gardening, cartes de visite, folklore, contagious diseases legislation, the shift to paper currency, Bleak House, Dorian Gray, Heathcliff, and Alice--Nancy Armstrong pursues a single and original theme: the absolute interdependence of literary realism and the advent of photography in nineteenth-century Britain. Her elegant and compelling account makes it clear that visual studies is more than an interesting new field of study. Rather, it is central to the projects of aesthetic theory and literary history.
Library Journal
Highly dependent upon images, the 19th-century realistic novel reflected a new kind of pictorial thinking. In this engaging look at Victorian fiction, Armstrong (comparative literature, Brown Univ.) shows how the unprecedented popularity of photography affected and informed the works of major writers. Choosing well from classic Victorian novels, Armstrong examines the works of authors like Dickens, Emily Bront , and Oscar Wilde as she traces the development of realism and discusses the powerful visual clues that began to drive plot and determine how characters relate to one another. As much social commentary as literary criticism, the book brings to life a society obsessed with the camera and burdened with what Armstrong calls a "mass visuality." An important work that belongs in academic and larger public libraries.--Ellen Sullivan, Ferguson Lib., Stamford, CT Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674008014
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 354
  • Product dimensions: 0.79 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Armstrong is Professor of English at Duke University. She is the author of Desire and Domestic Fiction and coauthor of The Imaginary Puritan.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: What Is Real in Realism?

1. The Prehistory of Realism

2. The World as Image

3. Foundational Photographs: The Importance of Being Esther

4. Race in the Age of Realism: Heathcliff's Obsolescence

5. Sexuality in the Age of Racism: Hungry Alice

6. Authenticity after Photography

Notes

Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)