Tenth Muse by Laura Marcus
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Tenth Muse
By Laura Marcus

The Tenth Muse

Writing About Cinema in the Modernist Period

By (author) See other recent books by Laura Marcus
Format: Hardback

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Tenth Muse by Laura Marcus

Book Awards

  • Winner of Modern Language Association James Russell Lowell Prize 2007.

Book Description

The Tenth Muse explores writings on the cinema in the first decades of the twentieth century. Laura Marcus examines the impact of cinema on early twentieth-century literary and, more broadly, aesthetic and cultural consciousness, by bringing together the study of the terms and strategies of early writings about film with literary engagement with cinema in the same period. She gives a new understanding of the ways in which early writers about film - reviewers, critics, theorists - developed aesthetic categories to define and accommodate what was called 'the seventh art' or 'the tenth muse' and found discursive strategies adequate to the representation of the new art and technology of cinema, with its unprecedented powers of movement. In examining the writings of early film critics and commentators in tandem with those of more specifically literary figures, including H.G.Wells and Virginia Woolf, and in bringing literary texts into this field, Laura Marcus provides a new account of relationships between cinema and literature. Intertwining two major strands of research - the exploration of early film criticism and theory and cinema's presence in literary texts - The Tenth Muse shows how issues central to an understanding of cinema (including questions of time, repetition, movement, vision, sound and silence) are threaded through both kinds of writing, and the ways in which discursive and fictional writings overlapped. The movement that defined cinema was also perceived as a more fragile and unstable ephemerality that inhered at every level, from the fleeting nature of the projected images to the vagaries of cinematic exhibition. It was the anxiety over the mutability of the medium and its exhibition which, from the 1920s onwards, led to the establishment of such institutional spaces for cinema as the London-based Film Society, the new film journals, and, in the 1930s, the first film archives. The Tenth Muse explores the continuities between these sites of cinematic culture and the conceptual, literary and philosophical understandings of the filmic medium.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780199230273
ISBN-10: 0199230277
Format: Hardback
(241mm x 165mm x 32mm)
Pages: 584
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 13-Dec-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...


Books By Author Laura Marcus

Late Victorian into Modern by Laura Marcus Late Victorian into Modern, Hardback (October 2016)

This volume opens up, in new and innovative ways, a range of dimensions of late Victorian and modern literature and culture. It examines shared developments, points out continuities rather than ruptures, and explores the understanding of this period as a moment in which new knowledges were forming with particular speed and intensity.

Moving Modernisms by Laura Marcus Moving Modernisms, Hardback (July 2016)

The essays in Moving Modernisms open up the many dimensions and arenas of modernist movement and movements: spatial, geographical and political: affective and physiological; temporal and epochal; technological, locomotive and metropolitan; aesthetic and representational. They point to the realities, and fantasies, of movement in modernist culture.

Dreams of Modernity by Laura Marcus Dreams of Modernity, Hardback (November 2014)

This volume addresses the question of how 'the moderns' understood the conditions of their own modernity.

Concise Companion to Psychoanalysis, Literature and Culture by Laura Marcus Concise Companion to Psychoanalysis, Literature and Culture, Hardback (May 2014)

This concise companion explores the history of psychoanalytic theory and its impact on contemporary literary criticism by tracing its movement across disciplinary and cultural boundaries.

» View all books by Laura Marcus

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Author Biography - Laura Marcus

Laura Marcus is Professor of English at the University of Edinburgh. She has published widely on nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and culture, with a number of books and articles in the fields of autobiography and biography, twentieth-century literature, modernism, psychoanalysis, and cinema.

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