The Artist As Critic: Bitextuality in Fin-de-Siecle Illustrated Books

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Editorial Reviews

Examines how text and image worked together to produce meaning in illustrated books in Victorian England. Aubrey Beardsley of course looms large, as well as such well known works as Oscar Wilde's Salome and Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Less known authors examined include Laurence Housman, Margaret Armour, and Alice Sargant. Distributed by Ashgate. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859281598
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 11/28/1995
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.53 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction 1
1 Two Texts, Two Hands, Two Looks
Bitextual theory and the marriage of image and text 9
Readers, viewers, texts 12
The artist as critic: five dialogic relationships for image and text 14
2 Contextual/Bitextual: Aesthetes, Socialists, Journalists
Socialists and the art of the arts-and-crafts book 26
Aesthetes and the art of the art-nouveau book 31
Journalists and the art of the mass-produced book 35
Books and backgrounds: technologies, markets, theories 40
Sex and the art of the book 45
3 Quotation
Journalism and the construction of the real 54
Realism and romance: the fin-de-siecle adventure tale 56
I. 'You know my methods': the illustrator's Sherlock Holmes 58
II. Adventure on the edge of empire: Black Heart and White Heart 70
III. Ironic adventures: representation and disruption in Perfervid 74
4 Impression
Androgynous beauty and the aesthetic imagetext 91
Consuming passions and consummating environments 94
I. Bitextual couple, bisexual Sphinx: Ricketts, Wilde, and the decadent art of seduction 94
II. Bitextual marriage: Margaret Armour and W.B. Macdougall 107
5 Parody
Dazzling travesties: decadent and parodic illustration 127
Representation and authority: pictorial critique and textual disruption 129
I. Salome and sexual/textual politics: the Wilde dance of Aubrey and Oscar 130
II. Fringilla: impression, quotation, parody 146
III. Jump-to-Glory Jane: one man's satire is another man's saint 149
6 Answering
An architectonics of answerability 167
Communal aesthetics and the folk-arts revival 171
I. Art, politics and dreams: The Well at the World's End 172
II. The Were-Wolf: decadent man answers New Woman 184
III. A Book of Ballads: Alice Sargant, William Strang and the Celtic revival 189
7 Cross-Dressing
Bitextual identity and the androgynous ideal: the transvestism of the text 203
Cross-dressing and bitextual politics 207
I. William Strang: the artist as woman as hero 209
II. Laurence Housman: homosocial solidarity and bitextual art 214
III. Aubrey Beardsley; cross-dressing comes out of the closet 226
8 Entr'acte 247
Appendix: Select Annotated Bibliography of First-Edition Illustrated books 252
Bibliography 278
Index 291
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