George Robert Sims and the Psychology of the Moving Image
This chapter locates the two-volume series of vignettes that comprise the late nineteenth-century journalist George Robert Sims’s The Social Kaleidoscope in the context of a broader cultural analysis of the pervasive use of a new technological rhetoric of moving images in nineteenth-century accounts of London life. This analysis ranges from Charles Dickens’s reflections on the process of capturing the dynamism of the modern city to Albert Smith’s popular Gavarni in London: Sketches of Life and Character (1849) and culminates with the print remediation of one of Robert Paul’s first urban flickers, ‘The Prince’s Derby’ in the pages of the Strand Magazine in 1896. Sims and his contemporaries embraced technological metaphors to convey a distinctively modern psychological understanding of how the mind and eye process information, and how language works to mediate that process.
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