Print, Visuality, and Gender in Eighteenth-Century Satire -"The Scope in Ev'ry Page"
Author: Katherine Mannheimer
Master eBook ISBN10 : 0-203-81735-4
Master eBook ISBN13 : 978-0-203-81735-3
No of pages : 248
eBook Price : $125.00
Originally Published : 23 May 2011
This study interprets eighteenth-century satire’s famous typographical obsession as a fraught response to the Enlightenment’s "ocularcentric" epistemological paradigms, and to a print-cultural moment identified by book-historians as increasingly "visual" — as the first to pay widespread attention to format, layout, and visual advertising strategies. The Augustans were convinced of the ability of their texts to function as a kind of optical machinery rivaling that of the New Science, enhancing readers’ physical and moral vision, while at the same time they feared the dangers of an overly-scrutinizing gaze as one that might undermine the viewer’s natural faculty for candor, sympathy, delight, and desire. Mannheimer studies this distrust of the empirical gaze and its applications in print to the inherent gender politics and broader ethical concerns of ocularcentrism in the works of authors such as Montagu, Swift, and Pope. These writers sought to ensure that print itself never became either a mere tool of, or an inert object for, the gaze, but rather that it remained a dynamic and interactive medium by which readers could learn both to see and to see themselves seeing.