Through an extensive study of Dickens’s “new art form,” the illustrated novel, Spectral Dickens sets out to transform certain fundamental assumptions about realism, literary forms, and imitation of personhood that have long defined the discourse of novel criticism and character studies. This book redefines and expands the critical discourse on fictional character by bringing a wider range of modern critical theory to the study of Dickens’s characterization, using in particular the three “hauntological” concepts of the Freudian uncanny, Derridean spectrality, and the Lacanian Real to give new ontological dimensions to the basic question: “What is a character?” By taking into account visual forms of representation and emphasizing the importance of form in rethinking the strict opposition between real person and fictional character, Spectral Dickens shifts the focus of character studies from long-entrenched values like “realism,” “depth,” and “lifelikeness,” to nonmimetic critical concepts like effigy, anamorphosis, visuality, and distortion. Ultimately, the “spectral” forms and concepts developed here in relation to Dickens’s unique and innovative characters—characters that have, in fact, always challenged implicit assumptions about the line between fictional character and real person—should have broader applications beyond Dickens’s novels and the Victorian era. The aim here is to provide a richer and more nuanced framework though which to understand fictional characters not as imitations of reality, but as specters of the real.
in the press and geared towards a growing middle-class readership, reflected reality. One of the issues with which the author attempted to grapple was the fact that once an image was divulged in another paper, and especially a foreign one, it acquired new ramifications that were impossible to control, and so the Spanish author attempted to rewrite the story behind the image. Similar to present-day media, nineteenth-centuryvisualculture could at once represent and contest dominant culture and also engage with controversies concerning truth and artifice
name of American director Francis Ford Coppola’s production company and comprising a drum rotated at sufficiently high speed for the pictures painted on its interior surface to cohere in a film-like sequence. To explore nineteenth-centuryvisualculture is thus to enter what Michael Wood calls ‘a cabinet of wonders’ ( 2012 : 16), with other fantastically named inventions such as the Photobioscope, Phasmatrope and Praxinoscope also requiring placement somewhere in film’s many-branched family tree. And so, too, do waxworks, dioramas, panoramic paintings, theatre and
Linda Nochlin, ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?’ (1971), in Women, Art, and Power and Other Essays (London: Thames and Hudson, 1991), pp. 145–78. The fact that Nochlin wrote about Tanning makes such connections even more pertinent. See Linda Nochlin, ‘Introduction: The Darwin Effect’, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide: A Journal of Nineteenth-CenturyVisualCulture, 2:2 (Spring 2003).
Dorothea Tanning, Cover letter
From Samoa with Love? at the Museum Fünf Kontinente, Munich
show participants into victims, denying them any agency. Although most ethnic shows
took place in a colonial setting of structural inequality, Indigenous agency in the
sense of capacity to act and negotiate was definitely an important factor in many
3 Also seen in British settler colonies, the New Zealand International Exhibition in
Christchurch 1906–1907, for example.
4 See for example E. Ames, ‘From the Exotic to the Everyday: The Ethnographic
Exhibition in Germany’, in V.R. Schwartz and J. Przyblyski (eds), The NineteenthCenturyVisualCulture Reader
New Zealand, fern albums, and nineteenth-century fern fever
to the robust export trade of New Zealand ferns, which transformed
the colony into ‘the world’s fernery’, the
SPFA functioned as a combined herbarium, nursery, and
virtual tour of specimens and scenic views that hinged upon sensory
experience. Embracing the fluid aesthetic currency of the fern in
late nineteenth-centuryvisualculture, the SPFA
English in the UNESCO Courier, November 1985).
5 Ringmar, Liberal Barbarism , p. 37.
6 Ibid , pp. 37–42.
7 G. Thomas, ‘The Looting of Yuanming and the Translation of Chinese Art in Europe’, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide: A Journal of Nineteenth-centuryVisualCulture , 7:2 (2008), p. 13, www.19thc-artworldwide.org/index.php/autumn08/93-the-looting-of-yuanming-and-the-translation-of-chinese-art-in-europe , accessed 10 April 2013. See J. Hevia, ‘Loot’s fate: the economy of plunder and the moral life of objects from the Summer Palace of the Emperor of
du 14 nov.” (Jibes Made at the Hearing of 14
Nov.), sketch, 1831.
At the heart of the uncanniness of caricature and its
overdetermination in nineteenth-centuryvisualculture is its
pervasive doubleness. Like “Les Poires,” the
caricatures that appeared in Philipon’s magazine were
-Raphaelites to the modern age (London: Tate Gallery Publishing, 2016).
107 Cormack, Arts & crafts stained glass, p. 94.
108 Hamber, ‘A higher branch of the art’, p. 83. See R. Machado, ‘The Politics of
Applied Color in Early Photography’, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide: A Journal
of Nineteenth-CenturyVisualCulture 9:1 (Spring 2010), www.19thc-artworldwide.
org/index.php/spring10/politics-of-applied-color (accessed 30 January 2013);
H. K. Henisch and B. A. Henisch, The painted photograph 1839–1914 (University
Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996
. Though they seldom engaged directly with matters related to politics or national affairs, costumbrista types did play an important role in echoing changing sentiments towards urbanisation, fashion, migration, gender and class relations, and internationalism. Lou Charnon-Deutsch argues that the central theme of nineteenth-centuryvisualculture in Spain was the vicissitudes of the daily life of a growing middle class. 9 While these popular representations focused primarily on contemporary concerns, they were rooted in the long-standing tradition of visual and