Název: Pre-cinematic vision and the modern episteme of sympathy in George Eliot's Middlemarch
Zdrojový dokument: Brno studies in English. 2020, roč. 46, č. 1, s. 133-152
ISSN0524-6881 (print)1805-0867 (online)
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The investment of George Eliot's narrative in characters impersonating the new epistemological concerns of philology (Casaubon) and biology (Lydgate), makes Dorothea's own peculiar vision-in-action guided by sympathy, which brings the novel to a close, despite the hesitant asides of the narrator about her uneven web, a contribution to the modern episteme, an engagement with the modern question of how to encompass the teeming multiplicity of modernity in one binding synthesis. This is done by emplotting the dichotomy fragmentation/unity that runs throughout the novel, and by incorporating many forms of visual representation that project an intuited sense of unity going past fragmentation. The aesthetic polarities explored in the novel are isomorphous with pre-cinematic spectacles: they both offer provisional, fragmented perspectives of parts, while demanding a new rearrangement of these parts on a higher plane. These spectacles, therefore, are not a symptom of a crisis in representation, but rather naturalize, through a long history of self-reflexivity harking back to the late Renaissance, the paradoxical nature of realism.