Novel Notions

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

By Katherine E. Kickel

© 2007 – Routledge

198 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781138868717
pub: 2015-02-26
US Dollars$49.95
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Hardback: 9780415979481
pub: 2007-05-07
US Dollars$147.00
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About the Book

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 authoring.

About the Series

Literary Criticism and Cultural Theory

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
FIC019000
FICTION / Literary
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General
LIT004120
LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
LIT007000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Books & Reading