Daniel Defoe and the Representation of Personal Identity

Author: Christopher Borsing
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317247612
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The concept of a personal identity was a contentious issue in the early eighteenth century. John Locke’s philosophical discussion of personal identity in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding fostered a public debate upon the status of an immortal Christian soul. This book argues that Defoe, like many of this age, had religious difficulties with Locke’s empiricist analysis of human identity. In particular, it examines how Defoe explores competitive individualism as a social threat while also demonstrating the literary and psychological fiction of any concept of a separated, lone identity. This foreshadows Michel Foucault’s assertion that the idea of man is ‘a recent invention, a figure not yet two centuries old, a new wrinkle in our knowledge’. The monograph’s engagement with Defoe’s destabilization of any definition or image of personal identity across a wide range of genres – including satire, political propaganda, history, conduct literature, travel narrative, spiritual autobiography, piracy and history, economic and scientific literature, rogue biography, scandalous and secret history, dystopian documentary, science fiction and apparition narrative - is an important and original contribution to the literary and cultural understanding of the early eighteenth century as it interrogates and challenges modern presumptions of individual identity.

On Declaring Love

Author: Fred Parker
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0429663641
Format: PDF, ePub
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"What did she say? – Just what she ought, of course. A lady always does." This book explores the act of declaring love in works of literature written between the middle of the eighteenth century and the death of Jane Austen - and uncovers the uncertain boundaries of the self in the force-field of courtship. Declaring love is understood as the hazardous attempt to find public, social terms which can communicate personal feelings and bring intimacy into being. This was a period highly sensitive to the propriety and artificiality of public forms, and hence peculiarly alive to problems around the idea of saying what you feel, problems experienced especially though not exclusively by women. Through this historical lens the author considers the ways in which we may become entangled with one another through language, the limits to our operation as independent individuals, and whether in love you can only feel what you can tell. The first part of the book examines eighteenth-century attitudes towards the independent or disengaged self, performance culture, and the feasibility of sincerity, through readings of a wide range of different works. This provides the basis for a discussion of Austen's novels in the final two chapters, focused on the dynamics of courtship and the moment of proposal, and making much of the role of Austen's narrative voice in supporting the subjectivity of the one in love.

Before Crusoe

Author: Penny Pritchard
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0429640242
Format: PDF, Docs
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Penny Pritchard is a Senior Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Literature, and has taught at the University of Hertfordshire since completing her PhD in 2006. Both her doctoral thesis (entitled ‘Defoe, Rhetoric, and Nonconformity’) and MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies were undertaken at the University of East Anglia. Her first book (The Long Eighteenth-Century: Literature from 1660 to 1790) was published by York Press in 2010, and she has written extensively on Defoe and early modern religious writing in academic journals and chapter collections.

Reimagining Society in 18th Century French Literature

Author: Jonas Ross Kjærgård
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0429878109
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The French revolutionary shift from monarchical to popular sovereignty came clothed in a new political language, a significant part of which was a strange coupling of happiness and rights. In Old Regime ideology, Frenchmen were considered subjects who had no need of understanding why what was prescribed to them would be in the interest of their happiness. The 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen equipped the French with a list of inalienable rights and if society would respect those rights, the happiness of all would materialize. This volume explores the authors of fictional literature who contributed alongside pamphleteers, politicians, and philosophers to the establishment of this new political arena, filled with sometimes vague, yet insisting notions of happiness and rights. The shift from monarchical to popular sovereignty and the corollary transition from subjects to citizens culminated in the summer of 1789 but it was preceded by an immense piece of imaginative work.

Novel Minds

Author: R. Tierney-Hynes
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137033290
Format: PDF, Docs
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Eighteenth-century philosophy owes much to the early novel. Using the figure of the romance reader this book tells a new story of eighteenth-century reading. The impressionable mind and mutable identity of the romance reader haunt eighteenth-century definitions of the self, and the seductions of fiction insist on making an appearance in philosophy.

Representing Public Credit

Author: Natalie Roxburgh
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317294874
Format: PDF
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Public credit was controversial in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England. It entailed new ways of thinking about the individual in relation to the State and was for many reasons a site of cultural negotiation and debate. At the same time, it required commitment from participants in order to function. Some of the debates relating to public credit, whose success was tied up in the way it was represented, find their way into contemporary fiction – in particular the eighteenth-century novel. This book reads eighteenth-century fiction alongside works of political economy in order to offer a new perspective on credible commitment and the rise of a credit economy facilitated by public credit. Works by authors such as Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, and Frances Burney are explored alongside lesser-known fictional texts, including some early it-narratives and novels of sensibility, to give a fully rounded view of the perception of public credit within England and its wider cultural and social implications. Strategies for representing public credit, the book argues, can be seen as contributing to the development of the English novel, a type of fiction whose emphasis on the individual can also be read as helping to produce a certain type of person, the modern financial subject. This interdisciplinary book draws from economic history and literary/cultural studies in order to make connections between the development of finance and an important facet of modern Western culture, the novel.