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TitleSympathetic sentiments : affect, emotion and spectacle in the modern world
Author John Jervis
ImprintLondon : Bloomsbury, 2015
Descript 272 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


This book develops an innovative interdisciplinary framework to explore the implications of living in a 'culture of feeling' that seems ill at ease with itself, one in which 'sentiments' are frequently denounced for being 'sentimental' and self-indulgent. This is traced back to the inheritance of the eighteenth century, enabling us to identify a distinctive 'spectacle of sympathy' in which sympathy seems inherently to entail public forms of expression whereby being 'on show' is both a condition of the authenticity of such affects and of their capacity to be masked and simulated - hence stimulating controversy, but also the exploration of the vicarious dimensions of modern experience so central to modern literature, art and culture. The implications of all this are further explored in the context of current debates over the display of trauma as the language of sympathetic engagement, and the alleged prevalence of 'compassion fatigue' in the era of media sensationalism. Overall, the book uncovers the patterns that both reproduce our capacity for 'sympathetic sentiments' while revealing the inherent underlying tensions


Acknowledgements -- Foreword -- Introduction -- Cloying sentiments -- Sensibility and sympathy in the theatre of tears -- Sympathy theory -- From sensibility to affect? -- Unconscious arts of memory -- Trauma trouble -- Sympathy, sentiment and media spectacle -- Postscript: Empathy, spectacle and mirror-touch synaesthesia

Emotions (Philosophy)

Arts LibraryB105.E46 J57S 2015CHECK SHELVES

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