Sympathetic Realism in Nineteenth-Century British Fiction
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
But a good deal of thanks is due to many others. For their inspiration and tireless support during my time in graduate school, I want to recognize Michael Mascuch, Kevis Goodman, Charles Altieri, Richard Halpern, Catherine Gallagher, Sharon Marcus, Kamilla Elliot, Kaja Silverman, and James Turner. In the...
Introduction: Thinking of Me Thinking of You: Sympathetic Realism
This book began in an effort to prove that one could write about sympathy in nineteenth-century fiction without writing about emotion. Emotions, I decided at the outset, are pesky and unruly creatures, hard to describe and still harder to define; it might be better just to avoid them. I had what I considered good reasons...
1. Going Along with Others: Adam Smith and the Realists
Contrasting three approaches to literary realism—that of medieval typology, Ian Watt’s “formal realism,” and the causal realism of novelists like George Eliot— Marshall Brown concludes that realism is “an attribute, a quality, an impression created by the novel.” Not “something ‘in’ the novel but the novel’s impact on...
2. The Art of Knowing Your Own Nothingness: Bentham, Austen, and the Realist Case
The previous chapter characterized the reality represented in nineteenth-century fiction as irreducible to objects that may be said to exist outside human language and thought. Devoted instead to portraying the texture of experienced life—the grain of historical reality, in the past and in the present—the realist novel...
3. Dickensian Sympathy: Translation in the Proper Pitch
We began our investigation of sympathy’s formal protocols by focusing on its qualities of abstraction, noting sympathy’s deep dependence on the strength or weakness of our ideas. “To conceive or to imagine” pain, writes Adam Smith in The Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS), “excites some degree of the same...
4. Not Getting to Know You: Sympathetic Detachment
Of the metaphors used to characterize nineteenth-century literary realism—its ethos and methods—the mirror is arguably the most persistent. Holding mirrors to nature, the realists are said to offer reflections of and on the world by concentrating uncommon attention on common objects and rendering them without...
CODA: Sympathy versus Empathy: The Ends of Sympathy at Century’s End
I began this book by arguing that the sympathetic foundation of nineteenth-century realist form is evident in some of realism’s most familiar narrative practices. I outlined how realist metonymy, for instance, once released from strict mimetic indexing, facilitates realism’s historicist project by emphasizing the...
Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2012