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Look Inside Urban Realism and the Cosmopolitan Imagination in the Nineteenth Century

Urban Realism and the Cosmopolitan Imagination in the Nineteenth Century
Visible City, Invisible World


Part of Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: December 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107663695

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About the Authors
  • This book tells a story about the transformation of mid-Victorian urban writing in response both to London's growing size and diversity, and Britain's shifting global fortunes. Tanya Agathocleous departs from customary understandings of realism, modernism, and the transition between them, to show how a range of writers throughout the nineteenth century - including William Wordsworth, Charles Dickens, William Morris, Henry James, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Joseph Conrad - explored the ethical, social and political implications of globalization. Showcasing a variety of different genres, Agathocleous uses the lens of cosmopolitan realism - the literary techniques used to transform the city into an image of the world - to explain how texts that seem glaringly dissimilar actually emerged from the same historical concept, and in doing so presents startlingly new ways of thinking about the meaning and effect of cosmopolitanism.

    • Contributes substantially to the thriving field of cosmopolitanism in a new way, and looks at nineteenth-century writers including Wordsworth and Dickens
    • Offers a broad approach to the topic, covering a wide time span, treating modern and contemporary eras as well as the Victorian
    • Interdisciplinary in approach: will interest those working in the fields of art history, urban studies, cultural and postcolonial studies and the history of the novel as well as Victorianists
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107663695
    • length: 294 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: cosmopolitan realism
    Part I. The Emergence of Cosmopolitan Realism:
    1. The palace and the periodical: the Great Exhibition, Cosmopolis, and the discourse of cosmopolitanism
    2. The sketch and the panorama: Wordsworth, Dickens, and the emergence of cosmopolitan realism
    Part II. Cosmopolitan Realism at the Fin de Siècle and Beyond:
    3. Realist details and romance plots: James, Doyle, and the aesthetics of fin-de-siècle cosmopolitanism
    4. Ethnography and allegory: socialist internationalism and realist Utopia in News from Nowhere and In Darkest England
    5. The moment and the end of time: Conrad, Woolf and the temporal sublime
    Conclusion: 'a city visible but unseen': cosmopolitan realism and the invisible metropolis.

  • Author

    Tanya Agathocleous, Hunter College, City University of New York
    Tanya Agathocleous is Assistant Professor of English at Hunter College, City University of New York.

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