Already the Past
By Jennifer Green-Lewis
Published November 4, 2020 by Routledge
Invented during a period of anxiety about the ability of human memory to cope with the demands of expanding knowledge, photography not only changed the way the Victorians saw the world, but also provided them with a new sense of connection with the past and a developing language with which to describe it. Analysing a broad range of texts by inventors, cultural critics, photographers, and novelists, Victorian Photography, Literature, and the Invention of Modern Memory: Already the Past argues that Victorian photography ultimately defined the concept of memory for generations to come –including our own. In addition to being invaluable for scholars working within the emerging field of research at the intersection of photographic and literary studies, this book will also be of interest to students of Victorian and modernist literature, visual culture and intellectual history.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
Introduction: 'Stars from an empty sky'
Part One: The Photograph in Time
1: Photography in the Age of Oblivion
2: ‘Already the Past’: The Backward Glance of Victorian Photography
3: Having Been: Photography and the Texture of TimePart Two: The Photograph as Time
4: Literary Memory and Victorian Stylistics
5: Modernism's Photographic Past
6: At Home in the Nineteenth Century
"Jennifer Green-Lewis’s monograph bravely embraces the fleeting nature of time in its analysis of Victorian photography and its impact on society today. - ARLIS/NA Reviews Academics will appreciate the deep research of many of these articles. - Victorian Studies This original and beautifully written book makes us rethink the role of photography in Victorian and Modernist English literature. It brilliantly shows us how photographs offered ways of structuring memory, shaping attitudes towards the past. Convincing and lucid, this is a major study of the relationship between writing and photography. - Kate Flint, University of Southern California, USA Green-Lewis’s book is a model of interdisciplinarity, and exceptional for its graceful lucidity of writing. The effect of photography and its wider culture upon conceptions of the past and operations of memory is analyzed in relation to images, arguments about photography, and novels with great originality. Green-Lewis weaves together analysis of the Victorian past and reflections upon the contemporary present in powerful and insightful ways. This is essential reading for both scholars and students of photography and Victorian studies. - Ellen Handy, The City College of New York, USA This is an erudite, compelling book that sheds new light on the entangled histories of photography and literature. Jennifer Green-Lewis examines the multi-faceted temporality of photography through the lens of literary and cultural forms of narrative desire: ranging from the pictorial stylistics of Dickens to literary modernism’s experimental materialisation of photography’s backward look, and from Victorian domestic space to contemporary transformations of the photographic image. - Helen Groth, University of New South Wales, Australia Jennifer Green-Lewis’s monograph bravely embraces the fleeting nature of time in its analysis of Victorian photography and its impact on society today. - ARLIS/NA"
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