Sean Ross Meehan

in The Oxford Handbook of Transcendentalism

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780195331035
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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This chapter focuses on Transcendentalism's interest in early photography. The article states that that interest has been much neglected and that this speaks to contradictions that characterize both technologies, photography and writing, as processes for mediating vision and communication. The article states that both photography and Transcendentalism were connected in time, as the visual medium of image reproduction was discovered in a series of experiments in Europe throughout the early nineteenth century and officially introduced in both Europe and the United States in 1839. Photography and Transcendentalism are also connected in thought; indeed. We might imaginatively think of Transcendentalism as a sort of communication medium, much as we consider the photographic invention, given the mutual interest that we find in each for the other. The article also explains that Transcendentalists used stunning photographs of nature and other things in their books

Keywords: photography; photographic mediation; photochemistry; nature; photographic Transcendentalism

Article.  3274 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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