from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A fantastic sequence of haphazardly associative imagery, as seen in dreams or fever.
- n. A constantly changing scene composed of numerous elements.
- n. Fantastic imagery as represented in art.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A popular 18th- and 19th-century form of theatre entertainment whereby ghostly apparitions are formed; a magic lantern.
- n. A series of events involving rapid changes in light intensity and colour.
- n. A dreamlike state where real and imagined elements are blurred together.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An optical effect produced by a magic lantern. The figures are painted in transparent colors, and all the rest of the glass is opaque black. The screen is between the spectators and the instrument, and the figures are often made to appear as in motion, or to merge into one another.
- n. The apparatus by which such an effect is produced.
- n. Fig.: A medley of figures; illusive images.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A fantastic series or medley of illusive or terrifying figures or images.
- n. Specifically
- n. An exhibition of images or pictures by the agency of light and shadow, as by the magic lantern or the stereopticon; especially, such an exhibition so arranged by a combination of two lanterns or lenses that every view dissolves or merges gradually into the next.
- n. The apparatus by means of which such an exhibition is produced; a magic lantern or a stereopticon.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a constantly changing medley of real or imagined images (as in a dream)
Poe, Baudelaire, and Rimbaud, the phantasmagoria was a favorite metaphor for the heightened sensitivities and often-tormented awareness of the romantic visionary.
"Densely composed and outrageously Freudian, Brand Upon the Brain! offers psychosexual anxiety, resurrection, vampirism, and the kind of phantasmagoria that exists only in the mind of a playful visionary," writes Fernando F Croce at Slant.
In this state of mind and body, it was not strange that he should either dream, or else that his diseased organs should become subject to that species of phantasmagoria which is excited by the use of opium.
Philipstal, staged his "phantasmagoria" in London at the Lyceum, and William Nicholson was in the audience to provide this eyewitness account:
Consumed by "phantasmagoria," distracted, entertained, spectators enjoy their alienation from others and themselves and sink into the mass "in an attitude that is pure reaction."
As I earlier explain, "phantasmagoria" has come to take on a specialised meaning, post Castle.
Shows using ghostly special effects were, in 1787, to be given the name of "phantasmagoria," but de
He had so withdrawn himself of late to the inner creative life that he moved in a kind of phantasmagoria of outer unrealities.
"Densely composed and outrageously Freudian, Brand Upon the Brain! offers psychosexual anxiety, resurrection, vampirism, and the kind of phantasmagoria that exists only in the mind of a playful visionary," writes
We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the "ideas" with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.
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