Novel Notions

Novel Notions : Medical Discourse and the Mapping of the Imagination in Eighteenth-Century English Fiction

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Medical, popular, and literary understanding about the imagination converged when Thomas Willis asserted that he had discovered the area of the brain that facilitated imagining. Taking this 'discovery' as paradigmatic, Novel Notions examines the reverberations of the medical investigation of the imagination in early British novels by Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, Laurence Sterne, and Ann Radcliffe. It argues that one of the novel's central features was a mapping of the terrain of human cognition, imagination, and creation, as a continuation of early modern medicine's account of perceptual experience. All the novels discussed reveal a simultaneous anxiety and excitement about medicine's understanding of the relationship between the imagination and perceptual experience through narrators who reflect on the nature of more

Product details

  • Paperback | 198 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 10.67mm | 272g
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 113886871X
  • 9781138868717

Table of contents

Authorâs Note on Editions and AbbreviationsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Discovering the Early Modern Imagination Chapter One: Investigating the Imagination: The Arrival of a Cartesian Mediator in Science and MedicineChapter Two: Hearing Imagining: Rhetorical Discordance in Daniel Defoeâs A Journal of the Plague YearChapter Three: Imagining a Novelâs Life: The Generative Power of Authorship in Henry Fieldingâs Tom JonesChapter Four: Making Sense of Novel Reading: New Curiosity Concerning Synaesthesia in Laurence Sterneâs Tristram ShandyChapter Five: Seeing Imagining: The Resurgence of A New Theory of Vision in Ann Radcliffeâs The Mysteries of UdolphoConclusion: An Enlightened Imagination?NotesBibliographyIndexshow more