By Martin Willis
This ebook explores the function of imaginative and prescient and the tradition of remark in Victorian and modernist methods of seeing. Willis charts the characterization of imaginative and prescient via 4 organizing ideas - small, huge, previous and destiny - to survey Victorian conceptions of what imaginative and prescient was once. He then explores how this Victorian imaginative and prescient encouraged twentieth-century methods of seeing, while anxieties over visible 'truth' grew to become entwined with modernist rejections of objectivity.
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Extra info for Vision, Science and Literature, 1870-1920: Ocular Horizons (Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century)
Science, Imagination and the Phantasmagoria 19 Gothic Infection Before considering microscopic vision specifically it is important to establish that Stoker and Le Fanu did employ the figure of the vampire as a representation of infection. In fact, neither was particularly innovative in doing so. 35 The story clearly connects Aubrey’s illness with the attack of the vampire, suggesting that the vampire itself is being imagined as either a disease or a disease-causing miasma. 36 Here, then, is one of the earliest articulations of fiction’s connection of the vampire with disease: where the vampire is imagined as the causative agent of disease.
Lubbock also conjures the bacteria’s spectral status; in particular its ability Science, Imagination and the Phantasmagoria 25 to resist being controlled by the regulating structures of human society, in which context it remains invisible, uncontrollable and constantly dangerous. Phantasmagorias Lubbock’s partly satirical comments about bacteria and Acts of Parliament seem to be at some distance from the microscopist who looks through the lens of his microscope and finds an image which is difficult to identify as either real or imagined.
Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla’ represents disease even more assuredly than Polidori. First, the narrative’s vocabulary invites a medical reading: the evolution of the story’s vampirism is littered with both medical terminology and specific medical images. The narrator and central protagonist, Laura, situates her victimization by the vampiric Carmilla within prevailing discourses on infection. 41 More specifically, it is clear that Le Fanu infuses his narrative with imaginative reconfigurations of miasmatist discourse.
Vision, Science and Literature, 1870-1920: Ocular Horizons (Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century) by Martin Willis