Sensationalism and the Genealogy of Modernity: A Global by Alberto Gabriele

By Alberto Gabriele

This publication maps out the temporal and geographic coordinates of the trope of sensationalism within the lengthy 19th century via a comparative technique. not just juxtaposing varied geographical parts (Europe, Asia and Oceania), this quantity additionally disperses its background over a longue durée, permitting readers to understand the hidden and sometimes unacknowledged continuities all through a interval that's frequently lowered to the confines of the nationwide disciplines of literature, artwork, and cultural reports. supplying quite a lot of methodological techniques from the fields of literary experiences, paintings heritage, sociology of literature, and visible tradition, this assortment bargains critical examples of the relation among literature and a number of other media. issues contain the rhetorical tropes of pop culture, the cloth tradition of garments, the lived adventure of functionality as a sub-text of literature and portray, and the redefinition of spatiality and temporality in idea, artwork, and literature.

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The examples are legion. Yet, notwithstanding such lineages, irony as a poetic and narratological idiom recast itself in the mid-eighteenth century. In the hands of Shaftesbury and Fielding, Voltaire, and Diderot, the force of irony shaped and cultivated the needs of the enlightened modern self, and the term achieved a far broader philosophical role with Friedrich von Schlegel and his brother August Wilhelm, who expanded the term beyond instrumental irony, that is, someone using irony purposefully, to include the “observable irony” of situations and events, fates and characters, philosophical systems and artistic creation (Muecke Irony and the Ironic 18–25).

Sensationalist Magic Tricks and the Gendered Space of Performance in the Early Twentieth Century” she tracks first the professionalization of magicians in the course of the nineteenth century, away from the fun-fair attraction type of earlier illusionists, and then focuses on the popularity of sensational acts such as the “bullet-catch,” “the human cannonball” into the twentieth century, which she sees as a response to the challenge to live performance posed by cinema with its appropriation of melodramatic and sensationalist tactics.

No matter which path is taken, the archival trace awaiting the researcher is a detour from narrative linearity, and a departure from the conventions of genre theory and from the strict demarcation of disciplines whose methodologies, overall, constantly demand a new assessment. ” She expands the interest in live performance to track the INTRODUCTION: SENSATIONALISM AND THE GENEALOGY OF MODERNITY... 17 history of the spectacularization of destruction, through recreations of recent disasters, like the Galveston flood at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase exposition in Saint Louis (and the earlier version at Coney Island), the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, flood of 1889 at the Pan-American exposition in Buffalo in 1901, or the repeated Coney Island acts of Fighting the Flames at the beginning of the twentieth century, which included a miniature version in the Midget village.

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