Abstract

At the time The Mysteries of Udolpho was published, déjà vu had not been connected to epilepsy. Yet, as déjà vu routinely accompanies epileptic seizures, it is no surprise to find them linked in fiction, even if that link is not clinically explained; the disease and its symptoms pre-exist scientific authentication. Reading Udolpho with an understanding of the epileptic condition—its relationship to melancholy, its production of anxiety over self-boundaries and its mimicry of madness—opens new possibilities for gothic criticism. As a symptomatic text, The Mysteries of Udolpho connects manifestations of epilepsy to the Gothic's preoccupation with dreamy or altered states.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 273-287
Launched on MUSE
2009-01-23
Open Access
No
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