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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Venice Public Lecture - 'What's Become of All the Gold ...?': Venice, Browning, Dickens, and Victorian Cultural Imaginings

25th January 2010, 18:15 to 19:30, Room 201, Elvet Riverside, Professor Michael O'Neill

This is the fifth Venice Public Lecture.

This lecture will examine Venice's manifestations in prose and poetry by Dickens and Browning. Discussing Dickens's *Pictures from Italy* and *Little Dorrit* and Browning's ''In a Gondola' and 'A Toccata of Galuppi's', it will explore the writers' attitude to dreams, imaginings, water, culture, history, the city, freedom, imprisonment, love, and death. The lecture will lay emphasis on the style and artistry of two central Victorian authors as they wed their accounts of Venice to visions of experience that are brilliantly unsolemn and yet often sombre.

This lecture series focuses on the city's representation in painting, music and literature since 1800. The period is one in which Venice's trading heyday had long since vanished; a byword for lost liberty under Austrian rule, it becomes the subject of elegiac broodings on fallen greatness, but also a place in which masqued revelry, carnival, licence, and dissolutions of normal perspectives still abide as possibilities. In the period, Venice becomes a playground for the imagination, but one in which the playful and the serious, aesthetics and history, entwine.

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These public lectures are free and open to all.

Contact m.s.o';; for more information about this event.