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The Other EmpireMetropolis, India and Progress in the Colonial Imagination$
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John Marriott

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780719060182

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719060182.001.0001

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A complete cyclopaedia

A complete cyclopaedia

(p.101) Chapter Four A complete cyclopaedia
The Other Empire

John Marriott

Manchester University Press

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

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