Strange Fits of Passion: Epistemologies of Emotion, Hume to Austen
Stanford University Press, 1996 - 240 psl.
This book contends that when late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century writers sought to explain the origins of emotions, they often discovered that their feelings may not really have been their own. It explores the paradoxes of representing feelings in philosophy, aesthetic theory, gender ideology, literature, and popular sentimentality, and it argues that this period s obsession with sentimental, wayward emotion was inseparable from the dilemmas resulting from attempts to locate the origins of feelings in experience.
The book shows how these epistemological dilemmas became gendered by studying a series of extravagantly affective scenes: Hume s extraordinary confession of his own melancholy in the Treatise of Human Nature; Charlotte Smith s insistence that she really feels the gloomy feelings portrayed in her Elegiac Sonnets; Wordsworth s witnessing of a woman poet reading and weeping; tearful exchanges between fathers and daughters in the gothic novel; the climactic debate over the strengths of men s and women s feelings in Jane Austen s Persuasion; and the poetic and public mourning of a dead princess in 1817.
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aesthetic affective Anne appears argues Austen Ballads become begin body called cause century chapter character Charlotte Charlotte's claims concern critics culture death described discussion early eighteenth emotion example experience expression extravagant fall fantasy father feelings female figure force gender give gothic hand Hume Hume's ideas impression individual interest kind Lady language late eighteenth-century literary literature lives Lyrical meaning melancholy mind mourning nature noted novel object origins pain passage passed passion Persuasion pleasure poem poet poetic poetry political popular presence questions quotation quoted readers reading references relation relationship representation represents response rhetoric romantic scene seems sense sensibility sentimental sexual Smith's social sonnet story strange suffering suggests Susan sympathy tears theory thing thought tion Treatise turn understanding voice weeping woman women Wordsworth's writing
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