Chapter

Camera Consciousness

Lara Feigel

in Literature, Cinema and Politics 1930-1945

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780748639502
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652938 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748639502.003.0005
Camera Consciousness

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This chapter explores the 1930s experiments with camera consciousness. Christopher Isherwood has Edward Upward's tutor's capacity to magnify and distort objects. The hyperreality of 1930s Germany is made explicit by Stephen Spender in his 1951 autobiography. In Spender's account, the party is not merely unreal because it is filmed. Louis MacNeice's former Birmingham student Walter Allen shared the poet's fear that the ghostly, nightmarish aspects of cinema were rendering experience unreal. Patrick Hamilton's Hangover Square is an account of life in the seedier parts of London and Brighton in the lead-up to war. Joris Ivens depicted the civilians' and soldiers' struggle to survive in The Spanish Earth. Robert Capa's controversial Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death or The Falling Soldier typify the hyperreal aspect of the Spanish Civil War. Like Albert Speer's chimeric buildings, which reconstitute architecture as light, the political itself has been redefined in terms of cinema.

Keywords: camera consciousness; Christopher Isherwood; Edward Upward; Stephen Spender; Walter Allen; Patrick Hamilton; Joris Ivens; Robert Capa; Louis MacNeice; cinema

Chapter.  13962 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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