The Entangled Eye

The Entangled Eye : Visual Perception and the Representation of Nature in Post-Darwinian Narrative

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Because evolutionary nature can be seen only through the product of evolution - the human eye - the observer must always be aware of the physical limitations inherent in the act of perception. Krasner's study is an exploration of how Charles Darwin's representational techniques, intended to emphasize the spatial and temporal limitations besetting the human observer without diminishing the grand scheme of evolutionary nature, transformed his opulently "entangled" nature into a formless, psychologically interior landscape.Evolutionary nature's abundance and variety required Darwin and the turn-of-the-century British nature writers who followed him to portray the world as though seen through a physiologically limited, human eye. Investigating the shift from Victorian to modernist sensibilities in the context of evolutionary biology and perceptual theory, Krasner shows that, while profoundly attentive to landscape and biology, nature writers chose a mode of representing nature based on visual perception that led them toward a more abstract and psychological portrayal of natural landscapes.Using the visual perception theories of Berkeley, Hamilton, Brewster, Koffka, and James, Krasner investigates the ways in which Thomas Hardy, Joseph Conrad, and D.H. Lawrence, as well as other naturalists and nature writers, came to portray nature as the locus of optical illusion and visual failure. Narrative portrayals of nature become narrative portrayals of the perception of nature in which the physiological limitations of the human eye determine the structure of the representation. Bringing together literary, scientific, and popular texts, Krasner establishes the extent of Darwin's impact on the English literary tradition.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 191 pages
  • 142.24 x 213.36 x 22.86mm | 340.19g
  • OXFORD UNIV PR
  • English
  • 0195073312
  • 9780195073317

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