Svengali's Web The Alien Enchanter in Modern Culture

PICK, Daniel.

Published by London, Yale University Press, 2000. 1st Edition.
ISBN 10: 0300082045 / ISBN 13: 9780300082043
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Hardcover, 8vo., new condition in dustjacket, black & white illus., notes, bibliography, index, 284pp. Svengali was the famous hypnotist from George du Maurier's novel Trilby. The author investigates the enduring use of his image through history. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Svengali, the malevolent hypnotist in Trilby, a sensationally successful novel published by George du Maurier in 1894, became such a well-known character in the culture of the period that his name entered the dictionary as one who exerts a malign persuasiveness on another. This book explores the origins and impact of Svengali and his helplessly mesmerised female victim Trilby in an age already rife with discussions of race, influence, and the unconscious mind. Daniel Pick points out that Svengali was a Jew as well as a dangerous hypnotist; his depiction struck a chord not only with pervasive nineteenth-century forebodings about irrational interpersonal forces and psychic contacts but also with prevalent anti-Semitic assumptions. He shows how Svengali became the quintessential dark hypnotist of the fin de sihcle, whose image was recycled in pictures, drama, verse, and films. Pick not only discusses the work of mesmerists, hypnotists, and critics of entrancement but also relates tales of surrogate passion and psychological foreboding that feature opera singer Jenny Lind, composer Richard Wagner, politician Benjamin Disreali, novelist Henry James and others. The book identifies and illuminates a psychological and historical preoccupation a cluster of Victorian ideas and images, fears and fantasies of psychic invasion and racial hypnosis that crystallised in the figure and phenomenon of Svengali. Reviews:

From the Publisher: Review
'Svengali's Web has an impeccable understanding of the many ambiguities in the novel [Trilby], and the ways they feed into Victorian fantasies that transport "hearts and minds to unseemly and dangerous places"...As Pick shows, with remarkable intelligence, Svengali remained deeply ambivalent, with his astonishing musical ability and cosmopolitan excess, which was both desired and loathed...excellent cultural history.' - Bryan Cheyette - The Independent

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Title: Svengali's Web The Alien Enchanter in Modern...
Publisher: London, Yale University Press, 2000. 1st Edition.



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Book Description Yale Univ Pr, New Haven and London, 2000. Cloth. Book Condition: About Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: About Fine. First Edition, First Printing. First Edition, First Printing. Hard cover 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" Tall in blk cloth. About Fine book in like DJ. 282pp inc. Notes, Bibiography, Index; illustrated in b/w reproductions. Account of how Svengali, originally a fictional Jew and hypnotist, became the quintessential dark figure of the fin de siecle Europe. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Book. Bookseller Inventory # 13002

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