By Janis McLarren Caldwell
Janis Caldwell investigates the hyperlinks among the starting to be clinical materialism of the 19th century and the endurance of the Romantic literary mind's eye. via heavily examining literary texts from Frankenstein to Middlemarch, and analyzing fiction along biomedical lectures, textbooks and articles, Caldwell argues that the way in which "Romantic materialism" stimulated those disciplines compels us to revise traditional money owed of the connection among literature and medication.
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Extra resources for Literature and Medicine in Nineteenth-Century Britain: From Mary Shelley to George Eliot
Overviews of Victorian doubt often gesture to the parallel between scientific naturalism and German higher criticism as twin causes of erosion of faith. I hope to Introduction: Romantic materialism 17 complicate this picture by calling attention to the native British typological hermeneutics of the pre-Darwinian period, as well as to the influence of German Romantic hermeneutics which were less naturalistic than the “higher” criticism of Strauss and Feuerbach, as translated by George Eliot. Typology has a long history, but by the nineteenth century it had become a popular protestant tradition of reading all of the Bible with a double reference – both to human history and to divine plan.
Particularly when examining the Book of Nature, the scientist must maintain a readiness to confess uncertainty: [I]f in any statement there be anything doubtful or questionable, I would by no means have it surpressed [sic] or passed in silence, but plainly and perspicuously set down by way of note or admonition. 30 Studying the Book of Nature requires a humble, almost religious desire to get it right. Thus there is a moral imperative to air uncertainties, to “set them down” as issues that require further investigation.
Just as the whole cannot be thought of apart from the particular as its member, so the particular cannot be viewed apart from the whole as the sphere in which it lives. 55 20 Literature and Medicine in Britain Schleiermacher objected to the vagueness of Ast’s “spirit” but recognized the usefulness of the hermeneutic circle. ” That is, Schleiermacher often changes his terms, yet one can trace the structure of the circle throughout his writings. For instance, he relates grammatical and psychological interpretation as follows: In order to complete the grammatical side of interpretation it would be necessary to have a complete knowledge of the language.
Literature and Medicine in Nineteenth-Century Britain: From Mary Shelley to George Eliot by Janis McLarren Caldwell