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Fall 2020

ZONE BOOKS

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New in Project MUSE
A Review of Ghostly Apparitions

In a new review in Project MUSE, Bryan Klausmeyer discusses Stefan Andriopoulos’ Ghostly Apparitions. Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to read the full review. An excerpt appears below:

“In Ghostly Apparitions: German Idealism, the Gothic Novel, and Optical Media, Stefan Andriopoulos investigates the recurring and polyvalent references to the ghostly and phantasmagoric across a wide variety of media and discursive fields between 1750 and 1930. His study is bracketed on the one end by the invention of the magic lantern in the mid-18th century and on the other by the invention of the television. Within this time frame he merges media archaeology with a historicist reading of various philosophical and literary texts in order to examine the cultural and technical conditions which gave rise to the invocation of ghosts around 1800 and subsequently allowed for the emergence of television around 1900. Throughout the five chapters of his book, Andriopoulos persuasively argues that from the eighteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century the cultural use of new media technologies – both with respect to the new kinds of cultural practices they engendered, as well as their representational figurations – was inextricably linked with discourses surrounding the occult. By situating philosophical discourse and the rise of new literary genres like the Gothic novel within their historical and technological contexts, Andriopoulos shows the extent to which contemporaneous optical and print media not only conditioned, but were also in turn conditioned by, widespread ‘spiritualist’ notions such as ghostly apparitions, “brain phantoms,” animal magnetism, and clairvoyance.”