The Difficulties of Modernism

The Difficulties of Modernism Modern Language Quarterly 65:4 (December 2004): 605– 8. © 2004 University of Washington. MLQ December 2004 (Ehrich Weiss). During traces such key changes as the increasing centrality of showmanship and gadgetry, the growing importance of magic lanterns and optical illusions, and the transition from fairs to fixed sites as performance locales. Along the way we learn stray but striking facts. We discover, for example, when magicians began to pull rabbits out of hats (c. 1800) and when they began to wear fashionable evening dress (1845, at the start of Robert-Houdin’s seven-year run at the Soirées Fantastiques in the Palais Royal). The third part of Modern Enchantments comprises a series of thematic investigations: “From Magic to Film,” “Magic and Literature,” “Magic Places.” These chapters treat a wide variety of art, literature, and performance, from high- to lowbrow. On occasion During offers analyses of canonical texts, among them Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Emile (1762), Fanny Burney’s Evelina (1778), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), E. T. A. Hoffmann’s Tomcat Murr (1819 – 21), Edgar Allan Poe’s “Gold-Bug” (1843), and Raymond Roussel’s “Parmi les noirs” (1935). More typically, he explores the kinds of spectacle and writerly production associated with secular magic. He discusses the deluxe http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modern Language Quarterly: A Journal of Literary History Duke University Press

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2004 by University of Washington
ISSN
0026-7929
eISSN
1527-1943
D.O.I.
10.1215/00267929-65-4-624
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Modern Language Quarterly 65:4 (December 2004): 605– 8. © 2004 University of Washington. MLQ December 2004 (Ehrich Weiss). During traces such key changes as the increasing centrality of showmanship and gadgetry, the growing importance of magic lanterns and optical illusions, and the transition from fairs to fixed sites as performance locales. Along the way we learn stray but striking facts. We discover, for example, when magicians began to pull rabbits out of hats (c. 1800) and when they began to wear fashionable evening dress (1845, at the start of Robert-Houdin’s seven-year run at the Soirées Fantastiques in the Palais Royal). The third part of Modern Enchantments comprises a series of thematic investigations: “From Magic to Film,” “Magic and Literature,” “Magic Places.” These chapters treat a wide variety of art, literature, and performance, from high- to lowbrow. On occasion During offers analyses of canonical texts, among them Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Emile (1762), Fanny Burney’s Evelina (1778), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), E. T. A. Hoffmann’s Tomcat Murr (1819 – 21), Edgar Allan Poe’s “Gold-Bug” (1843), and Raymond Roussel’s “Parmi les noirs” (1935). More typically, he explores the kinds of spectacle and writerly production associated with secular magic. He discusses the deluxe

Journal

Modern Language Quarterly: A Journal of Literary HistoryDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 2004

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