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"Light that Dances in the Mind"

Photographs and Memory in the Writings of E. M. Forster and his Contemporaries


Graham Smith

This book is concerned with the presence of familiar objects in unfamiliar places. It examines the literary practice of inserting imaginary photographs of art, architecture, and people into novels and short stories. These photographs are fictive objects, although some, especially those of art and architecture, have equivalents in real life. The book examines the presence of invented photographs in the writings of six authors who made extensive use of this practice. The first part of the book concentrates on E. M. Forster, while also including some discussion of imaginary photographs in Sinclair Lewis’s novel Main Street. The second part of the book analyses the uses of photographs in the writings of Forster’s near contemporaries, with separate chapters being devoted to Henry James, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf. An epilogue touches on Christopher Isherwood, a member of the next generation of British writers. The book focuses upon largely unexplored areas in the writings of these authors – what Virginia Woolf in ‘Modern Fiction’ styled ‘un-expected places’.
Contents: Literature and photography – Photography in literature – Modernist literature – Modernist literature and the visual arts – E. M. Forster and photography – Henry James and photography – Marcel Proust and photography – James Joyce and photography – Virginia Woolf and photography – Photography and memory – Photography and travel – Travel in Italy.