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Mind over Matter

Memory Fiction from Daniel Defoe to Jane Austen

Sarah Eron (author)

ISBN: 9780813945675

Publication Date: Mar 2021

Format: Paperback

Also available as: Hardback  

How do we understand memory in the early novel? Departing from traditional empiricist conceptualizations of remembering, Mind over Matter uncovers a social model of memory in Enlightenment fiction that is fluid and evolving - one that has the capacity to alter personal histories.
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How do we understand memory in the early novel? Departing from traditional empiricist conceptualizations of remembering, Mind over Matter uncovers a social model of memory in Enlightenment fiction that is fluid and evolving - one that has the capacity to alter personal histories. Memories are not merely imprints of first-hand experience stored in the mind, but composite stories transacted through dialogue and reading.Through new readings of works by Daniel Defoe, Frances Burney, Laurence Sterne, Jane Austen, and others, Sarah Eron tracks the fictional qualities of memory as a force that, much like the Romantic imagination, transposes time and alters forms. From Crusoe's island and Toby's bowling green to Evelina's garden and Fanny's east room, memory can alter, reconstitute, and even overcome the conditions of the physical environment. Memory shapes the process and outcome of the novel's imaginative world-making, drafting new realities to better endure trauma and crises. Bringing together philosophy of mind, formalism, and narrative theory, Eron highlights how eighteenth-century novelists explored remembering as a creative and curative force for literary characters and readers alike. If memory is where we fictionalize reality, fiction--and especially the novel--is where the truths of memory can be found.
Pages 272
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Mar 2021
Publisher University of Virginia Press
Subject/s Literary studies: general   Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900   Philosophy of mind   Literary companions  
Sarah Eron is Associate Professor of English at the University of Rhode Island and author of Inspiration in the Age of Enlightenment.

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