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How do literary illustrations affect the way we read or what we read? Through a critical investigation of the role engraving played in 18th-century French literature, Philip Stewart grapples with this question. Focusing on the objectification of women by the "male gaze", Stewart analyzes the various ways in which this masculine power is simultaneously represented and veiled: the fascination with women playing "male" roles, such as soldiers; the preponderance of voyeuristic images of the naked female body and the transformation of male power into hostile forces of nature that render women helpless. Further, Stewart shows how "indecent" engraving that purported to test the limits of 18th-century morality often merely reinforced prevailing images of women.
Duke University Press
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