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Victorian photography and literary nostalgia /
Helen Groth.
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2004.
xii, 244 p. : ill.
0199256241 (hb)
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Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2004.
0199256241 (hb)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-07-01:
Photography encouraged the reading of Victorian literature nostalgically, and poetry (by Tennyson, Barrett Browning, Rossetti, et al.) legitimized photo collecting. Wordsworthian retrospection allied to photos idealized tradition even as new commercialism ruptured its continuity. The celebrity poet, presented through photos, becomes a vehicle for cultural memory. Building on insights of diverse hermeneutic critics (e.g., Benjamin, Bourdieu, Foucault, Habermas and John Crary's work on cultural uses of perceptual devices), Groth (English literature, Macquarie Univ.) at times digresses from the main topic as she analyzes poetry of Wordsworth, Scott, Barrett Browning, and minor poets in the light of popular editions accompanied by original photos. She also uses Carlyle's contemporary insights into an illusion of presence, the attempted sense of direct experience in photography. Larded with deconstructive ideological terminology--the author reads the photos with restrictive presuppositions--but equipped with a sizeable bibliography, this study will have limited readership among students of the cultural impact of Victorian photography. ^BSumming Up: Optional. Graduate and research collections. R. E. Wiehe emeritus, University of Massachusetts at Lowell
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Choice, July 2004
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Table of Contents
List of illustrations
Nostalgia and Poetic Idylls in Early Victorian Photographic Discourse
Wordsworthian Afterlives and Photographic Nostalgia
Scott, Technology, and Nostalgic Reinvention
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Photography, and the Afterlife of Poetry
Cameron, Tennyson, and the Luxury of Reminiscing
Literary Ephemera and the Timeless Image in Late Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture
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