Chapter

A complete cyclopaedia

John Marriott

in The Other Empire

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780719060182
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700341 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719060182.003.0005
A complete cyclopaedia

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This chapter explores the complete cyclopaedia that represents the plurality of metropolitan life, conceptualized by Pierce Egan. In the early years of the nineteenth century artists and writers broke with classical modes of representation of plurality and presented a fundamental shift in the status of the observing subject. Obvious manifestations were the changes in imagery promoted by new systems of representation, but more fundamental was the massive reorganization of knowledge that impacted on human capacities to produce, desire and perceive. A new observer operating in a range of social and artistic practices, and scientific and philosophical domains of knowledge attempted to appropriate the dislocating experiences of urban environments. This ambulatory observer shaped by a convergence of new urban spaces, technologies and new economic and symbolic functions of images and products abandoned the dominant, fixed and seemingly stable perceptions of the previous century, and sought a truth abstracted from any founding site or referent.

Keywords: cyclopaedia; Pierce Egan; economic function; symbolic function; urban spaces; nineteenth century; urban environment

Chapter.  13753 words. 

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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