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Murison, Justine S
The politics of anxiety in nineteenth-century American literature / Justine S. Murison
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, c2011
book jacket
Location Call Number Status
 4th Floor  PS217.S34 M87 2011    AVAILABLE
Subject(s) American literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism
Literature and science -- United States -- History -- 19th century
Nervous system -- Psychological aspects
Anxiety in literature
Mind and body in literature
Neurosciences -- United States -- History -- 19th century
Self in literature
Physiology in literature
Physical Description ix, 215 p. ; 24 cm
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. 179-209) and index
Contents 1. A bond-slave to the mind: sympathy and hypochondria in Robert Montgomery Bird's Sheppard Lee -- 2. Frogs, dogs, and mobs: reflex and democracy in Edgar Allan Poe's satires -- 3. Invasions of privacy: clairvoyance and utopian failure in antebellum romance -- 4. 'All that is enthusiastic': revival and reform in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Dred -- 5. Cui bono?: spiritualism and empiricism from the Civil War to American nervousness -- Epilogue: the confidences of anxiety
Summary "For much of the nineteenth century, the nervous system was a medical mystery, inspiring scientific studies and exciting great public interest. Because of this widespread fascination, the nerves came to explain the means by which mind and body related to each other. By the 1830s, the nervous system helped Americans express the consequences on the body, and for society, of major historical changes. Literary writers, including Nathaniel Hawthorne and Harriet Beecher Stowe, used the nerves as a metaphor to re-imagine the role of the self amidst political, social and religious tumults, including debates about slavery and the revivals of the Second Great Awakening. Representing the 'romance' of the nervous system and its cultural impact thoughtfully and, at times, critically, the fictional experiments of this century helped construct and explore a neurological vision of the body and mind. Murison explains the impact of neurological medicine on nineteenth-century literature and culture"-- Provided by publisher
Series Cambridge studies in American literature and culture ; 162

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