Amnesiac Selves: Nostalgia, Forgetting, and British Fiction, 1810-1870
With Joyce, Proust, and Faulkner in mind, we have come to understand the novel as a form with intimate ties to the impulses and processes of memory. This study contends that this common perception is an anachronism that distorts our view of the novel. Based on an investigation of representative novels, Amnesiac Selves shows that the Victorian novel bears no such secure relation to memory, and, in fact, it tries to hide, evade, and eliminate remembering. Dames argues that the notable scarcity and distinct unease of representations of remembrance in the nineteenth-century British novel signal an art form struggling to define and construct new concepts of memory. By placing nineteenth-century British fiction from Jane Austen to Wilkie Collins alongside a wide variety of Victorian psychologies and theories of mind, Nicholas Dames evokes a novelistic world, and a culture, before modern memory--one dedicated to a nostalgic evasion of detailed recollection which our time has largely forgotten.
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CHAPTER 1 Austens Nostalgics
Phrenology Physiognomy and Memory in Charlotte Brontė
Dickens Thackeray and MidCentury Fictional Autobiography
Collins Sensation Forgetting
Eliots Romola and Amnesiac Histories
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amnesia Anne associationism associationist associative Austen’s Austen’s novels aVair aVection Baldassare become Blackwater Park body Brontė’s century characters Charlotte Brontė claim clinical gaze closural Collins Collins’s consciousness continually Crimsworth critics cultural David detail Dickens Dickens’s disconnection diVerent diYcult eighteenth-century Eliot’s Esmond eVect eVort face fact faculty familiar Fanny Fanny’s forgetting function George Eliot Hartright historical novel homesickness idea insofar instance Jane Austen later Laura London Lucy Lucy’s Mansfield Mansfield Park Marianne Marianne’s mental mind mnemonic modern nostalgia narrator nineteenth nineteenth-century nostalgia nostalgic novelist objects Oxford pain past past’s pathological Pen’s perhaps personal memory phrenological physiology pleasure plot present psyche psychology reader reading recall recollection reflex relevant remember retrospect Ribot Romola scene sensation novel sense Sense and Sensibility social souvenirs suVered talgia term text’s Thackeray Thackeray’s theory tion Tito Tito’s trans trauma University Press vague Victorian fiction Villette Woman in White
Page 7 - All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.