• David J. Jones
Part of the The Palgrave Gothic Series book series (PAGO)


These are the words with which Jean-Paul Sartre disparagingly characterises the writing of Michel Foucault as retroactively static productions, simultaneously placing a model of the cinema/lantern dichotomy, as he saw it, at the centre of contemporary historiography. It is a highly selective statement with regard to lantern technology and, built as it is on Sartre’s preference of cinema to the lantern shows he witnessed as a child, he dispenses it with an air of dismissal or farewell. It is a characteristic reflex and one which has proved influential in considering media histories as a whole.

He distinguishes between periods, a before and an after. But he replaces cinema with the magic lantern, motion with a succession of motionless moments.1


Early Medium Lantern Slide Magic Lantern Adult Comic German Cinema 
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  1. 1.
    Quoted in Didier Eribon, Michel Foucault (London: Faber and Faber, 1992), p. 163.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Richard Abel, The Ciné Goes to Town: French Cinema 1896–1914 (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1994), p. 103.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    Stephen Crane, The Best Short Stories of Stephen Crane (Stilwell:, 2008), pp. 81–92, p. 86.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    Bill Brown, The Material Unconscious: American Amusement, Stephen Crane and the Economics of Play (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997), p. 166.Google Scholar
  5. 12.
    Robert J. Andreach, Len Jenkin’s Theatre: Wonder and Heart (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2011), p. 128.Google Scholar
  6. 17.
    Press release for Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin, Remediation: Understanding New Media (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000),, accessed 3 May 2013.Google Scholar
  7. 18.
    Rainer Rother and Werner Sudendorf, Foreword, in Hans Helmut Prinzler, Sirens and Sinners: A Visual History of Weimar Film 1918–1933 (London: Thames & Hudson, 2013), p. 13.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David J. Jones 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.Open UniversityUK

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