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The Emergence of Mind

Representations of Consciousness in Narrative Discourse in English

Edited by David Herman

Publication Year: 2011

From Chaucer’s Pardoner to Eliot’s Edward Casaubon, from Behn’s Oroonoko to Woolf’s Clarissa Dalloway—the multifarious perceptions, inferences, memories, attitudes, and emotions of such characters are in some cases as vividly familiar to us readers as those of the living, breathing individuals we know from our own day-to-day experiences in the world at large. Equally diverse are the investigative frameworks that have been developed to study such fictional minds, their operations and qualities, and the narrative means used to portray them. The Emergence of Mind provides new perspectives on the strategies used to represent minds in stories and suggests the variety of analytic approaches that illuminate those strategies. In this interdisciplinary and groundbreaking collection of essays, distinguished scholars such as Monika Fludernik, Alan Palmer, and Lisa Zunshine examine trends in the representation of consciousness in English-language narrative discourse from 700 to the present. Tracing commonalities and differences in the portrayal of fictional minds over virtually the entire time span during which narrative discourse in English has been written and read, The Emergence of Mind will have a lasting impact on literary studies, narratology, and other fields.

Published by: University of Nebraska Press

Series: Frontiers of Narrative

Title Page

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pp. iii

Copyright Page

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pp. iv

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

As noted in the introduction, this volume is the first of its kind: namely, a collection of new essays by specialists in different literary periods who examine trends in the representation of consciousness in English-language narrative discourse from around 700 to the present. Because...

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pp. 1-40

In her foundational 1978 study of strategies for representing consciousness in narrative fi ction, Transparent Minds, Dorrit Cohn begins her analysis by underscoring what she takes to be “the singular power possessed by the novelist: creator of beings whose inner lives he can reveal at will” (4). As Cohn’s...

Part I: Representing Minds in Old and Middle English Narrative

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1. 700–1050: Embodiment, Metaphor, and the Mind in Old English Narrative

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pp. 43-68

Old English narratives habitually represent the mind as a material entity, residing in the chest cavity and subject to thermal and spatial changes that correspond to changing mental states. For example, in the poetic dialogue Solomon and Saturn, one of the interlocutors describes what happens to his mind (hige)...

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2. 1050–1500: Through a Glass Darkly; or, the Emergence of Mind in Medieval Narrative

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pp. 69-100

The representation of consciousness in medieval literature is an underexplored area of narratological research. Partly, this is the result of a general failure of classical narratology to engage with of the novel). Partly, too, the neglect of this issue stems from a general belief that the representation of consciousness does not ...

Part II: Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Minds

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3. 1500–1620: Reading, Consciousness, and Romance in the Sixteenth Century

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pp. 103-131

Between the late fifteenth and early seventeenth centuries in England, the concept of human consciousness became increasingly linked to the question of what goes on inside the human head. The early modern minde — seat of reason, soul, will, and even passion — had long been known to be connected corporeally to the braine, although...

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4. 1620–1700: Mind on the Move

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pp. 132-158

In the study of narrative discourse, the period 1620–1700 should be seen as a threshold because it immediately precedes the rise English. Usually considered to have emerged as a distinct genre in the mid-eighteenth century, the novel developed out of several different literary forms widely used in the seventeenth. Some of ...

Part III: Contexts for Consciousness in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

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5. 1700–1775: Theory of Mind, Social Hierarchy, and the Emergence of Narrative Subjectivity

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pp. 161-186

A peculiar sideline scenario plays itself out obsessively in one to an apparently impoverished stranger’s plea for assistance while being closely watched by an interested observer, such as a secret admirer, a parent, or a friend. For example, Laurence Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy (1768) opens with ...

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6. 1775–1825: Affective Landscapes and Romantic Consciousness

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pp. 187-214

In this chapter I will argue that the most distinctive aspect of tive is its expression of subjectivity through metaphorical spaces (whether in the form of landscape, architecture, or the visionary space of dreams), which differ fundamentally from the quasi-literal landscapes of eighteenth- or nineteenth-century realism. Rather ...

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7. 1825–1880: The Network of Nerves

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pp. 215-239

Is there an ur-scene of the Victorian depiction of consciousness? One could do worse than begin with one of the Victorian novel’s most famously shocking moments: Walter Hartright, one of the central narrators of Wilkie Collins’s 1859–60 The Woman in White, meeting the eponymous apparition on a moonlit Hampstead...

Part IV: Remodeling the Mind in Modernist and Postmodernist Narrative

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8. 1880–1945: Re-minding Modernism

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pp. 243-272

For many historians and theorists of the novel, the modernist novel marked (for better or worse) a turning point in the development of methods for representing fictional minds. For these commentators, despite their surface differences modernist authors shared a common project: the project of...

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9. 1945–: Ontologies of Consciousness

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pp. 273-297

This chapter draws on four case studies in order to examine some of the techniques of consciousness representation present in fiction in the British Isles from 1940 to the present day. They are Evelyn Waugh’s Men at Arms (1952), Martin Amis’s Success (1978), Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman (written in 1940 but not published...


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pp. 299-301


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pp. 303-315

E-ISBN-13: 9780803234987
E-ISBN-10: 0803234988
Print-ISBN-13: 9780803211179
Print-ISBN-10: 0803211171

Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Frontiers of Narrative