Aesthetic Materialism: Electricity and American Romanticism by Paul Gilmore

By Paul Gilmore

Aesthetic Materialism: electrical energy and American Romanticism makes a speciality of American romantic writers' makes an attempt to theorize aesthetic event in the course of the language of electrical energy. in accordance with medical and technological advancements, so much significantly the telegraph, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century electric imagery mirrored the mysterious workings of the actual brain in addition to the doubtful, occasionally surprising connections among participants. Writers corresponding to Whitman, Melville, and Douglass drew on pictures of electrical energy and telegraphy to explain literature either because the made from particular monetary and social stipulations and as a method of transcending the person made up our minds via such stipulations. Aesthetic Materialism strikes among historic and cultural research and shut textual examining, not easy readers to work out American literature as right away formal and historic and as a manufactured from either aesthetic and fabric adventure.

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Morse to reconstruct the transatlantic uses of electricity as a figure for imagining the politically conservative ends of art in modern society. The chapter moves on to examine the two dominant modes of understanding the telegraph that emerged in the 1840s and 1850s, arguing that they bridge the idealism of Coleridge and the technological utopianism of Morse. On the one hand, spiritualists grasped the telegraph as a material instrument revealing the immaterial interconnectedness of all humanity, all life, all creation.

B. Morse to reconstruct the transatlantic uses of electricity as a figure for imagining the politically conservative ends of art in modern society. The chapter moves on to examine the two dominant modes of understanding the telegraph that emerged in the 1840s and 1850s, arguing that they bridge the idealism of Coleridge and the technological utopianism of Morse. On the one hand, spiritualists grasped the telegraph as a material instrument revealing the immaterial interconnectedness of all humanity, all life, all creation.

As much as this project has changed since I first began, I have changed even more, due to her love, care, and devotion. My shift in thinking about these materials mirrors a greater transformation in my own life. I can’t imagine this book or my life without her. Table of Contents Title Page Copyright Page Dedication Acknowledgments Introduction: The Word “Aesthetic” CHAPTER ONE - Idealist Aesthetics and the Republican Telegraph CHAPTER TWO - Aesthetic Electricity CHAPTER THREE - Frederick Douglass’s Electric Words: Aesthetic Politics and the Limits of Identification CHAPTER FOUR - Mad Filaments: Walt Whitman’s Aesthetic Body Telegraphic Conclusion: Aesthetic Electricity Caged Notes Works Cited Index Introduction: The Word “Aesthetic” Of all the scientific terms in common use, perhaps no one conveys to the mind a more vague and indeterminable sense than this, at the same time that the user is always conscious of a meaning and appropriateness; so that he is in the position of one who endeavors to convey his sense of the real presence of an idea, which still he cannot himself fully grasp and account for.

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