This book explores how Edwardian art writing shaped and narrated embodied, performative forms of aesthetic spectatorship. It argues that we need to expand the range of texts we think of as art writing, and features a diverse array of critical and fictional works, often including texts that are otherwise absent from art-historical study. Multi-disciplinary in scope, this book proposes a methodology for analyzing the aesthetic encounter within and through art writing, adapting and reworking a form of phenomenological-semiotic analysis found conventionally in performance studies. It focuses on moments where theories of spectatorship meet practice, moving between the varied spaces of Edwardian art viewing, from the critical text, to the lecture hall, the West End theatre and gallery, middle-class home, and fictional novel. It contributes to a rethinking of Edwardian culture by exploring the intriguing heterogeneity and self-consciousness of viewing practices in a period more commonly associated with the emergence of formalism.
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