1st Edition

Towards an Aisthetics of the Victorian Novel Senses and Sensations

By Nadine Böhm-Schnitker Copyright 2023

    Towards an Aisthetics of the Victorian Novel: Senses and Sensations establishes a new analytical method in the broader context of sensory studies in order to explain how the genre of the novel can impact on our perception of ourselves and our social contexts. Taking cultural literary studies ahead, the book re-integrates aesthetics – a much fraught concept in cultural studies that long favoured ‘popular’ over ‘high culture’ – into cultural studies as aisthetics in the word’s root sense of ‘perception’. Zooming in on period shifts and changes in taste spanning realism, sensation fiction and aestheticism, aisthetics reveals how these shifts also pertain to new ways of perceiving in selected novels by George Eliot, Wilkie Collins and Vernon Lee. Connecting Victorian and current literary theories, aisthetics helps explore the way in which the novel can shape the way we perceive the world, what remains excluded from the realm of the perceivable and how our conduct is consequently always also influenced by the dominant genres of our time.



    Nadine Böhm-Schnitker (Ph.D.) works as a stand-in professor for English Studies: Literature at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg. She specializes in neo-Victorian and Victorian Studies and serves as associate editor of the online journal Neo-Victorian Studies. In her second book project, she explored the cultural history of perception in nineteenth-century texts as well as the re-evaluation of aesthetics in terms of aisthetics within Cultural Studies. Her current projects deal with the cultural legacy of the Opium Wars, practices of comparing and ecocriticsm.