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- DescriptionAndrea Goulet takes the study of the vel into the realm of the visual by situating it in the context of nineteenth-century scientific and philosophical discourse about the nature of sight. She argues that French realism, detective fiction, science fiction, and literature of the fantastic from 1830 to 1910 reflected competition between two modern visual modes: a t-yet-outdated idealism and an empiricism that located truth in the body. More specifically, the book argues that key narrative forms of the nineteenth century were shaped by a set of scientific debates: between idealism and materialism in Hore Balzac's Comedie humaine, between deduction and induction in early French detective fiction, and between objective vision and subjective vision in the optogram fictions of Jules Verne and others. Goulet aims to revise critical views on the modern vel in a number of ways. For instance, although many literary studies focus on the impact of cinema, photography, and painting, Optiques asserts the materialist bases of realism by establishing a genealogy of popular fictional genres as fundamentally optical, that is, as articulated according to bodily tions of sight. With its chrological and interdisciplinary scope, Optiques stands to contribute an important chapter to the study of literary modernity in its scientific context.
- Author BiographyAndrea Goulet teaches French at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
- Author(s)Andrea Goulet
- PublisherUniversity of Pennsylvania Press
- Date of Publication01/05/2006
- SubjectLiterary Criticism
- Series TitleCritical Authors and Issues
- Place of PublicationPennsylvania
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Pennsylvania Press
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
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