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Eighteenth-Century Sensibility and the Novel : The Senses in Social Context - Ann Jessie Van Sant

Eighteenth-Century Sensibility and the Novel

The Senses in Social Context


Published: 20th May 2004
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This study of sensibility in the eighteenth-century English novel discusses literary representations of suffering and responses to it in the social and scientific context of the period. The reader of novels shares with more scientific observers the activity of gazing on suffering, leading Ann Van Sant to explore the coincidence between the rhetoric of pathos and scientific presentation as they were applied to repentant prostitutes and children of the vagrant and criminal poor. The book goes on to explore the novel's location of psychological responses to suffering in physical forms. Van Sant invokes eighteenth-century debates about the relative status of sight and touch in epistemology and psychology, as a context for discussing the 'man of feeling' (notably in Sterne's A Sentimental Journey) - a spectator who registers his sensibility by physical means.

Sympathetic visibility: philanthropic objects as instruments of pathos and demonstration
Gazing on suffering: the provocation of response
Revelation of the heart through entrapment and trial: Clarissa's story, Lovelace's plot
The centrality of touch
Locating experience in the body: microsensation
Reading to the moment: a note on sensibility and narrative form
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521604581
ISBN-10: 0521604583
Series: Cambridge Studies in Eighteenth-Century English Literature and Thought
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 160
Published: 20th May 2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 0.9
Weight (kg): 0.24