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1 May 2019
Winslow Homer’s The New Novel (1877) was, and still can be, seen as a moral statement about ‘only a novel’. Here for example is a piece by Book Patrol: ‘The image crackles with latent sexuality and the eroticism of feminine power. It is a deeply intimate portrait, and Homer seems to spying on her, enjoying the scene as a voyeur enraptured by the young girl’s complete lack of self-consciousness. Her foot emerges from her dress, stretched, cat-like, as if the passage she’s reading requires a physical response. Reading here is a pagan act, a mystic rite performed in a sylvan setting that almost begs for fauns spying upon her from within the background brush.’
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