By Nicholas Freeman
Conceiving the City is an leading edge research of the ways that a new release of late-Victorian novelists, poets, painters, and theoreticians tried to symbolize London in literature and artwork. Breaking clear of the language and elegance of Dickens and the static landscape work of William Powell Frith, significant figures reminiscent of Henry James and J. M. Whistler, and, crucially, less-celebrated authors reminiscent of Arthur Machen, Edwin Pugh, and George Egerton bent realism into interesting new shapes. within the naturalism of George Gissing and Arthur Morrison, the fragmentary impressions of Ford Madox Ford, and the brooding secret of Alvin Langdon Coburn's photogravures, London emerged as a spotlight for dynamic, explicitly sleek artwork. even though a lot of those insights will be disregarded or not less than downplayed by way of next generations, the guidelines developed through the interval from 1870 to 1914 expect not just the paintings of excessive modernists comparable to Eliot and Woolf, but in addition that of later city theorists comparable to Foucault and de Certeau, and the novels and travelogues of latest London writers Peter Ackroyd and Iain Sinclair. Nicholas Freeman recovers a feeling of late-Victorian London as a topic for dynamic theoretical and aesthetic experiments, and exhibits, in stimulating analyses of Conan Doyle, H. G. Wells, Arthur Symons, and others how a lot of our realizing of city house we owe to eminent (and no longer so eminent) Victorian figures. Written in a transparent and obtainable sort, the booklet restores a much-needed old viewpoint to our engagement with the metropolis.
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