The Question of Nineteenth Century Mimesis: Precinema and the Literary Imagination

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 18:30 - 19:30

A rich tradition of art historians and literary critics has often privileged the “window onto the world” metaphor to understand the focal point of a painting or of a narrative, and to define nineteenth century realism. The talk shall address the alternative aesthetic of precinematic spectacle that can be traced throughout the literary works of the long nineteenth century in French, British and American examples.

Novel theory, therefore, can be redefined, by tracking the references to these visual devices. More importantly, print culture through the optical medium of the novel is relevant in this history for it explored, disseminated and contributed to naturalize forms of vision and conceptualization that are coextensive with the emergence of modernity, and which paved the way for the experiments of modernism.

Dr Alberto Gabriele, a graduate of New York University’s Comparative Literature Department is the author of Reading Popular Culture in Victorian Print: Belgravia and Sensationalism (2009).

Supported by the Macgeorge Bequest

IMAGE: Mondo Niovo. Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia. Museo Correr, Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe.


Event type

Free Public Lecture


Macmahon Ball Theatre (Room 107), Old Arts Building, Parkville