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The Ghost-Image on Metropolitan Borders—In Terms of Phantom of the Opera and 19th-Century Metropolis Paris
HIT building 208-2, Hanyang University, 222 Wangsimri-ro, Seongdong-Gu, Seoul 133-791, Korea
Received: 7 October 2013; in revised form: 16 October 2013 / Accepted: 20 December 2013 / Published: 27 December 2013
Abstract: This paper reviews Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera in the context of the social and cultural changes of the metropolis Paris at the end of the 19th century. The Phantom of the Opera, a success in the literary world and widely proliferated in its musical and film renditions afterward, is considered and interpreted mainly in the literary and artistic tradition. In this paper, however, this work will be considered from an urban sociological perspective, especially from that of Walter Benjamin, who developed the theory of the urban culture, focusing on the dreaming collectives at the end of the 19th century. Leroux’s novel can be regarded as an exemplary social form of the collective dreams of the period expressed in arts, architectures, popular stories and films and other popular arts. Given the premise that the dream images in the novel, so-called kitsch, reflect the fears and desires of the bourgeois middle class that were pathologized in the figure of the ghost, this paper reveals the cultural, social and transnational implications of the Ghost-Image in relation to the rapidly changing borders of the 19th century metropolis.
Keywords: Gaston Leroux; Walter Benjamin; ghost; kitsch; dreamimage; metropolis; urban sociology; communicability; Paris; Opera House
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MDPI and ACS Style
Lee, C. The Ghost-Image on Metropolitan Borders—In Terms of Phantom of the Opera and 19th-Century Metropolis Paris. Societies 2014, 4, 1-15.
Lee C. The Ghost-Image on Metropolitan Borders—In Terms of Phantom of the Opera and 19th-Century Metropolis Paris. Societies. 2014; 4(1):1-15.
Lee, Changnam. 2014. "The Ghost-Image on Metropolitan Borders—In Terms of Phantom of the Opera and 19th-Century Metropolis Paris." Societies 4, no. 1: 1-15.