Pompeii in the Public Imagination from Its Rediscovery to Today
Shelley Hales, Joanna Paul
OUP Oxford, Nov 17, 2011 - History - 417 pages
The city of Pompeii has had an enormous impact on Western imaginations since its rediscovery under the ashes of the volcano that destroyed it in 79 CE. In the 250 years since excavations began, Pompeii has helped to bring the ancient world to life for everyone, from music hall audiences to gentleman scholars, and it continues to have an impact on the way in which we think about the past, and the human condition itself. The contributors to this generously illustrated volume, who include the novelist Robert Harris, in a recorded interview, investigate how Pompeii has been used in film, fiction, and art on both sides of the Atlantic over three centuries. They explore the many different ways in which Pompeii inhabits our imaginations: as ghostly relic of human suffering, romantic ruin, model of cultural inspiration, home of a distant, decadent culture, and comforting model for everyday life.
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