24.2 | Joost Vormeer

Masterclass | A ‘Perverse’ Stereoscopic Vision in Gustave Flaubert’s Salammbô


This article investigates the possibility of a stereoscopic vision in Gustave Flaubert’s novel Salammbô, a gloomy narrative of erotic obsession. Referring to Jonathan Crary’s study Techniques of the Observer in which the author explains the epistemological differences between eighteenth century and nineteenth century notions of vision, I will apply the notion of vision to this literary text. Crary’s understanding of the stereoscope as a pivotal optical instrument in the context of nineteenth century vision and visuality, enables me to analyze some of the many visual descriptions in Salammbô with the technique and the larger cultural implications of the stereoscope in mind.