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Mesmerism, Medusa, and the Muse
Anne DeLong

Anne DeLong is assistant professor of English at Kutztown University in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, where she teaches courses in nine... Lire la suite
Livre Relié, 182 Nombre de pages  Plus d'informations
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Description

Auteur

Anne DeLong is assistant professor of English at Kutztown University in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, where she teaches courses in nineteenth-century British literature and women's studies.



Texte du rabat

Mesmerism, Medusa, and the Muse: The Romantic Discourse of Spontaneous Creativity explores the connections among the Romantic discourse of spontaneous literary creativity, the nineteenth-century cultural practice of mesmerism, and the mythical Medusa as an icon of the gendered gaze. An analysis of Medusan mesmerism in the poetry of Mary Robinson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L.E.L.) and the prose of Mary Shelley reveals that these Romantic-era writers equate the enraptured state that produces spontaneous literary creation with the mesmeric trance. These writers employ Medusan imagery to portray both the mesmerist and the mesmerized subject, a conflation of subject/object positions that complicates issues of agency, subjectivity, and gender. Images of Medusan mesmerism ultimately work to deconstruct Romantic ideological dichotomies of self/other, female/male, muse/artist, and sublime/beautiful. In contrast to a traditional, masculinized Romantic discourse that emphasizes self-possession, this study uncovers a feminized, improvisational, Romantic discourse, characterized "Other-possession," an assumption of the mesmerized subject position that enhances subjective fluidity. This study interrogates the Romantic discourse of spontaneous literary creativity through an examination of Romantic poetry, prose, and theory that utilizes mesmeric and Medusan metaphors to suggest creative inspiration. Building on recent scholarship about improvisational poetics, the subversive potential of mesmerism, and Medusa as a feminist icon, this work suggests that the mesmeric Medusan muse not only enables creativity for women writers but also provides a mirror in which they view (and through which they give voice to) their own societal oppression. The mesmeric Medusan muse in Romantic-era literature--from the Ancient Mariner and the Frankenstein monster to the tragic, abandoned Sapphic poetess--often represents the face of oppression, an unwelcome and monstrous truth in nineteenth-century British society. For women writers in particular, braving the stare of the Medusan muse enhances empathy, and therefore inspiration and literary productivity.



Contenu

Introduction: Opium Dreams: Romantic Poetry and Spontaneous Creativity Chapter 1: Romantic Improvisation: The Discourse of Spontaneity and the Anxiety of Inspiration Chapter 2: Animal Magnetism: Mesmerism in the Shelley Circle Chapter 3: Mesmeric Muses: Galvanic Maniacs and Somnambulant Zombies Chapter 4: The Medusan Muse: Speaking Eyes and Snaking Veins Chapter 5: The Gazing Eye, the Speaking I, and the Assenting Ay Bibliography Index About the Author

Détails sur le produit

Titre: Mesmerism, Medusa, and the Muse
Sous-titre: The Romantic Discourse of Spontaneous Creativity
Auteur: Anne DeLong
Code EAN: 9780739170434
ISBN: 978-0-7391-7043-4
Format: Livre Relié
Editeur: Lexington Books
Genre: Linguistique et sciences de la littérature
nombre de pages: 182
Poids: 417g
Taille: H233mm x B160mm x T18mm
Année: 2012

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