Amnesiac Selves: Nostalgia, Forgetting, and British Fiction, by Nicholas Dames

By Nicholas Dames

With Joyce, Proust, and Faulkner in brain, we've come to appreciate the radical as a kind with intimate ties to the impulses and strategies of reminiscence. This examine contends that this universal belief is an anachronism that distorts our view of the unconventional. in line with an research of consultant novels, Amnesiac Selves exhibits that the Victorian novel bears no such safe relation to reminiscence, and, actually, it attempts to conceal, circumvent, and put off remembering. Dames argues that the remarkable shortage and specified unease of representations of remembrance within the nineteenth-century British novel sign an artwork shape suffering to outline and build new thoughts of reminiscence. by way of putting nineteenth-century British fiction from Jane Austen to Wilkie Collins along a large choice of Victorian psychologies and theories of brain, Nicholas Dames inspires a novelistic international, and a tradition, ahead of glossy memory--one devoted to a nostalgic evasion of certain recollection which our time has principally forgotten.

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Extra info for Amnesiac Selves: Nostalgia, Forgetting, and British Fiction, 1810-1870

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Indeed, “nostalgia” begins as an explanation for the often malignant 28 amnesiac selves eVects of foreignness and distance. 17 But Hofer’s uniqueness consisted in providing the first extended treatment of the perils of what might be more simply called homesickness. Building around homesickness a set of both psychological and physiological symptoms, a specific etiology, and a series of suggested ameliorations and cures, as well as a taxonomic term from the Greek, Hofer gave the malady a new importance and thus prepared the way for its entrance into serious medical research.

Mais rugir si on vous dit que vous n’avez pas de jugement. 1 Marianne’s preference is not, however, reflected in the texts of her creator, which seem more interested in maintaining Edward’s tentative avoidance of the past than in cultivating a love of remembrance. Jane Austen’s novels do not bask in reminiscence, do not seek out obscure memories, and are not illuminated by sudden bursts of recollection—a tendency amply demonstrated by the fact that, having stated her love of memory, Marianne returns immediately to the topic at hand: how one might dispose of a purely hypothetical fortune.

Indeed I can hardly find anybody in the ship clear of its eVects but the captain, Dr. 4 Here “nostalgia” enters the English language—carefully distanced as a medical neologism, one that the physicians have gone “so far as to esteem a disease” in a conceptual leap as large as the geographical journey Cook’s crew has gone to contract it. The most immediately curious thing about this taxonomical début is that, as far as a history of nostalgia might go, it seems to represent a dead end. No comfortable sentimentality, the nostalgia of the eighteenth century—elaborately studied in nosologies, tracts, and case studies, particularly in the century’s concluding decades—was a danger, a potentially fatal aZiction.

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