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Title: Looking through glass : representations of windows, lenses and spectacles in modern American literature and culture
Author: Woodhouse, Anna Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 7740
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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Exploring the power and the politics of the glass-framed gaze, this thesis addresses interconnections between capitalism, voyeurism, and surveillance in American literature. Existing studies of the relationship between glass and capitalism, such as Bowlby's Just Looking, focus on explicitly commodity contexts. My research extends such analyses of the commercial gaze to reflect upon sexual and criminal contexts. Transparent and reflective, glass both proffers and withholds what it displays, magnifying both desirous and destructive passions. It presents a unified image of the viewer and the viewed, potentially assimilating and objectifying to enhance self-image. Working through a series of representations. I explore the "mirroring effects" of windows. lenses and spectacles. How, for example. do Holgraves daguerreotypes inform perceptions of past and present Pyncheons? What is the significance of Dr T. Ecklebergs gargantuan spectacles, and how might they frame Gatsby as the 'advertisement of the man") How do Marlowes musings on the 'oriental junk' in the window of a seedy bookstore reflect upon his own sexuality') ( suggest that, collectively. the various representations of windows, lenses and spectacles comprise a metaphorical "hall of mirrors", transfiguring the identities of both viewer and viewed Intensifying the gaze. these forms of glass art' both causes of and remedies to visionary distortion. They figure sight as potentially flawed and correctable, not only commodifying the objects they display. but also becoming commodities in themselves. Drawing upon critical insights provided by Marx, Lacan. and Debord, this thesis inter-relates the perspectives of the consumer, the photographer. and the detective. It traces the development of the consumer gaze in the US, examining the reciprocal complex of mediated presentations and receptions 10 show, literally, how Americans have envisioned themselves through glass.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available