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Ghostly Apparitions: German Idealism, the Gothic Novel, and Optical Media

Ghostly Apparitions: German Idealism, the Gothic Novel, and Optical Media DOI 10.1215/00104124-3327612 Ghostly Apparitions: German Idealism, the Gothic Novel, and Optical Media. By Stefan Andriopoulos. Brooklyn: Zone Books, 2013. 256 p. While not among the Gothic novels discussed by Stefan Andriopoulos, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818) is worth considering in terms of a critical reception that has seen Shelley's novel not as Gothic but as science fiction. Shelly adapted Galvani's experiments with electrical animation of frog legs and the resulting hypothesis of "animal electricity" to give credibility to Victor Frankenstein's project to bring to life a creature assembled from dead body parts. Andriopoulos's thesis is that developments in technology and science provided the preconditions for not only emerging optical media but also German Idealism and the Gothic novel. Andriopoulos launches his argument by citing the "spiritual shapes" (Gestalten des Geistes) postulated by Hegel in the Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) as successive forms of mental progress (9). Hegel appropriated the contemporary phantasmagoria featuring ghostly projections of a laterna magica as a metaphor for these mental states, and he was not alone in making connections between mental constructions and phantasmagoria (51­55). Andriopoulos calls attention to corresponding references in Kant and Schopenhauer. In perceptual and cognitive apprehension Kantian http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

Ghostly Apparitions: German Idealism, the Gothic Novel, and Optical Media

Comparative Literature , Volume 67 (4) – Dec 1, 2015

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Duke Univ Press
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/00104124-3327622
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Abstract

DOI 10.1215/00104124-3327612 Ghostly Apparitions: German Idealism, the Gothic Novel, and Optical Media. By Stefan Andriopoulos. Brooklyn: Zone Books, 2013. 256 p. While not among the Gothic novels discussed by Stefan Andriopoulos, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818) is worth considering in terms of a critical reception that has seen Shelley's novel not as Gothic but as science fiction. Shelly adapted Galvani's experiments with electrical animation of frog legs and the resulting hypothesis of "animal electricity" to give credibility to Victor Frankenstein's project to bring to life a creature assembled from dead body parts. Andriopoulos's thesis is that developments in technology and science provided the preconditions for not only emerging optical media but also German Idealism and the Gothic novel. Andriopoulos launches his argument by citing the "spiritual shapes" (Gestalten des Geistes) postulated by Hegel in the Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) as successive forms of mental progress (9). Hegel appropriated the contemporary phantasmagoria featuring ghostly projections of a laterna magica as a metaphor for these mental states, and he was not alone in making connections between mental constructions and phantasmagoria (51­55). Andriopoulos calls attention to corresponding references in Kant and Schopenhauer. In perceptual and cognitive apprehension Kantian

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 2015

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