Erewhons of the Eye: Samuel Butler as Painter, Photographer, & Art Critic
  • Author: Shaffer, Elinor
  • Binding: Clothbound, sewn, jacketed
  • Pages: 356
  • Size: 6-1/4 x 9-1/4"
  • Pub. Year: 1988
  • ISBN: 0-948462-01-9
  • In Stock: Yes
Price: $35.00
With 180 illustrations, 20 in full color.
Issued by Reaktion Books UK*

If you can find this book elsewhere, good luck and God speed. We've been distributing this book to North America for a number of years, and it seems that we have the last 100 copies of this very remarkable monograph, but we haven't changed the price for the last 15 years. Aficionados of the history of photography especially will be amazed, we predict, by what's been left out about Butler from most compendiums.

Samuel Butler (1835-1902) has long been recognized as a great novelist, author of Erewhon and The Way of All Flesh. This groundbreaking book reveals in addition a pioneer of photography and art criticism. Superbly illustrated, and including 80 rare photographs never before published -- Erewhons of the Eye demonstrates how Butler made a substantial contribution to both the practice and the criticism of the visual arts. As Elinor Shaffer writes, "One of the most compelling interests of Butler's life in art is the sense it conveys of how tortuous and unexpected the route may be to the styles of the next generation. ... The primitive and the naive, children's painting, 'art brut,' the fantastic map, the cartoon and the caricature, ironization of styles, verist sculpture, the photograph, and the literary text linked to the visual illustration in such a way as to lift and lighten the authority of the text alone -- all these were explored, promoted, collected or practiced by Butler."

"As this critical-biographical study makes clear, Butler was...a pioneering photographer, an interesting minor painter, and an important force in art criticism."
-- Washington Post Book World

Dr Elinor Shaffer is a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Advanced Study (Institute of Germanic Studies), University of London...


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