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语言学课程作业:Modernist Fiction And Camera Eye

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语言学课程作业:Modernist Fiction And Camera Eye
“Style in itself is an absolute manner of seeing”: Modernist Fiction and the Camera-Eye.

In 1897, Joseph Conrad began “The Nigger of Narcissus” with the declaration that, “my task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word to make you hear, to make you feel- it is, before all, to make you see”. His emphasis on the artist's loyalties to more perfectly convey the world in fiction prompted literature's move beyond mimetic Realism and toward a new type of representational writing where authors could use language to investigate the ways we perceive the world.

However, forty years earlier, Gustav Flaubert had similarly emphasised this need for a mastery of language to make the reader see through style alone. He believed the future of Art lay in the direct engagement of language with expression and thoughts on reality (Flaubert 301) characterised in his “novel about nothing”, Madame Bovary (1857). Flaubert's theory predicts the ideas of the literary impressionist movement, pioneered by Walter Pater and defined by its preoccupations with “the processes of perception and visual sensation, its evocation of superimposition and multiple perspectives...and its understanding of enduring and essential forms underlying the visible world” (Marcus 186).

The attempts of literary impressionism to depart from mere aesthetic representation and turn inwards embodied Modernism's desires to investigate deeper into their characters, continuing the work of Flaubert by experimenting with language to represent these processes of perception, perfecting techniques such as stream of consciousness, narrative temporality and alternating points of view. It is by the presence of these features in Flaubert's work that led to his characterisation as proto-modernist, foreshadowing the later stylistic experiments of Modernist authors like James Joyce in Ulysses (1922) which embraced the interior experience of reality, providing an ideal comparison in an investigation into modes of seeing. However, while such experimentation with narrative representation was occurring in literature at the turn of the century, a new art was emerging that promised to perfect the way we viewed the world- the cinema. In 1913, D.W Griffiths reiterated Conrad's manifesto, saying “The task I am trying to achieve is above all to make you see” (Spiegel xii); only this time he was referring to his intentions for film.(责任编辑:BUG)

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