Modern Language Quarterly 65:4 (December 2004): 605â 8. Â© 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 ï¬xed 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-Houdinâs seven-year run at the SoirÃ©es Fantastiques in the Palais Royal). The third part of Modern Enchantments comprises a series of thematic investigations: âFrom Magic to Film,â âMagic and Literature,â âMagic Places.â 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 Rousseauâs Emile (1762), Fanny Burneyâs Evelina (1778), Mary Shelleyâs Frankenstein (1818), E. T. A. Hoffmannâs Tomcat Murr (1819 â 21), Edgar Allan Poeâs âGold-Bugâ (1843), and Raymond Rousselâs âParmi les noirsâ (1935). More typically, he explores the kinds of spectacle and writerly production associated with secular magic. He discusses the deluxe
Modern Language Quarterly: A Journal of Literary History – Duke University Press
Published: Dec 1, 2004
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