From Realism to the Affective Turn: An Agenda

Part of the Reenactment History book series (REH)


Ever since the late eighteenth century when new forms of visual entertainment claimed to be able to use technology to replicate or simulate the literal details of nature, scholars, poets and intellectuals have bemoaned the increasing dominance of the realist aesthetic. Classicists such as Sir Joshua Reynolds and Romantics such as Samuel Coleridge found the practice of literalist simulation to be debased and disgusting. It demanded merely mechanical competence, eliminated the vital creative role of the artist’s idealising imagination, and appealed to uncultivated tastes attracted by the sensational wonders of the technical facsimile. Art lost its age-old raison d’être if it became indistinguishable from literal nature.


Late Eighteenth Century Reality Television Affective Turn Imaginative Process Somatic Experience 
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© Iain McCalman and Paul A. Pickering 2010

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