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Cinematicity in Media History$
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Jeffrey Geiger and Karin Littau

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748676118

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748676118.001.0001

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Time and Motion Studies: Joycean Cinematicity in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Time and Motion Studies: Joycean Cinematicity in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Chapter:
(p.88) Chapter 5 Time and Motion Studies: Joycean Cinematicity in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Source:
Cinematicity in Media History
Author(s):

Keith B. Williams

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748676118.003.0006

This chapter, written by Keith B. Williams, shows that James Joyce’s ‘eye and imagination were already trained by the rich and diverse optical culture in which he grew up’, even before cinema arrived. The cinematicity of Joyce’s writings is not therefore just an after-effect of the cinématographe; rather, Joyce’s ‘visual literacy’ and ‘literary visuality’ help explain ‘his creative receptiveness to cinema’ when it did arrive. As Williams’s close readings reveal, Joyce’s novel presents us with a protagonist whose perceiving and remembering consciousness is as variously evocative of the magic lantern as it is of chronophotography or cinema itself. It is this that makes this novel the ‘superlatively intermedial Modernist text’. Insofar as Joyce’s fiction appears to extend the ancient principle of ekphrasis into this age of moving images, it should be seen as synergetic with key aspects of visual culture and technology which gave birth to cinematicity on screen.

Keywords:   James Joyce, Comparative media, Modernism, Irish literature, Cinematic perception, Film and Literature

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