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Desire and Excess:
The Nineteenth-Century Culture of Art
Jonah Siegel

Book Description | Table of Contents


"Desire and Excess is one of the most exciting and sophisticated books I have read for some time. It is capaciously learned, sensitively researched, and wonderfully graceful and witty. By reconsidering the institutions and aesthetics responsible for the culture of the museum in modernity, it offers a new history of art-historical discourse."--Isobel Armstrong, Birkbeck College, London

"Desire and Excess tells about the time a dazzling company of poets got lost inside the Louvre, and only got out once they had together created the giant figure of the Artist. Jonah Siegel's brilliance is continually breathtaking, so it's lucky that he has placed such solid ground beneath our feet by his luxurious, intricately wrought scholarship."--Elaine Scarry, author of On Beauty and Being Just

"A timely book on the relationship of art and experience to the hallowed sanctuaries of museum collections. Jonah Siegel is right on target in dealing with this hugely important issue. I can only admire the vast range of themes and the quiet display of learning so apparent in this text. The book kept me constantly alert and informed."--Robert Rosenblum, New York University

"This ambitious and fascinating work traces the relations between the development of the museum, the history of taste, and the figure of the artist/author in nineteenth-century England. Here Jonah Siegel reads the long collapse of neoclassicism as a productive crisis in the modern conception of originality. His argument is remarkably rich, subtle, learned, and provocative."--Ian Duncan, University of Oregon

"Desire and Excess marks the emergence of a powerful and distinctive critical sensibility, remarkable both for its range of erudition and for the extraordinary quality of reflection brought to bear on the works explored here. Jonah Siegel mingles exacting close analysis and broad, confident historical and cultural reference in a manner that is almost unfailingly persuasive. The book will appeal to readers interested in the intellectual, artistic, literary, and cultural histories of Britain from the eighteenth through twentieth centuries, as well as to those engaged in postmodern critical reflection on art institutions and artistic agency."--James Eli Adams, Indiana University

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File created: 4/17/2014

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