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Immersive Words: Mass Media, Visuality, and American Literature, 1839-1893

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9780817318673
Author(s): Michelle Jarenski
Format: Hardcover
Year: 2015
Edition: 2nd
Publisher: University Alabama Press
Dimensions: 155 x 229 x 28 (w x l x h)
Pages: 248

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Description:
Immersive Words traces how innovations in visual practices and aesthetics in the nineteenth century changed the aesthetics of American literature with profound consequences for America's evolving national identity. In Immersive Words, Michelle Jarenski demonstrates that the contempo-rary challenge that visual images and virtual environments in cinema and photography, on the web, and in video games pose to reading and writing are not contemporary developments but equally exercised the imaginations, anxieties, and works of nineteenth-century authors. The middle of the nineteenth century witnessed the emergence of numerous visual technologies and techniques: the daguerreotype, immersive exhibition spaces such as cycloramas and panoramas, mechanized tourism, and large-scale exhibitions and spectacles such as the World's Fair. In closely argued chapters devoted to these four visual forms, Jarenski demonstrates that the popularity of these novel-ties catalysed a shift by authors of the period beyond narratives that merely described images to ones that invoked aesthetic experiences.
She describes how Herman Melville adapts the aesthetic of the daguerreotype through his use of dramatic point-of-view and unex-pected shifts that disorient readers. Frederick Douglass is shown to appropriate a panoramic aesthetic that severs spatial and temporal narratives from standard expectati Please click here to ask a question
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