Catalogue


Isolated cases : the anxieties of autonomy in enlightenment philosophy and romantic literature /
Nancy Yousef.
imprint
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2004.
description
xi, 253 p. ; ├Ąc 24 cm.
ISBN
0801442443 (cloth : acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2004.
isbn
0801442443 (cloth : acid-free paper)
catalogue key
5303945
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [198]-244) and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
"In this brilliantly illuminating book, Nancy Yousef paints a vivid picture of Enlightenment and Romantic thinkers who are differently alive to the conceptual problems, psychic indeterminations, and historical consequences that flow from embracing the fantasy that human beings begin in a state that is radically independent of others. Reading works by Locke, Mills, Rousseau, Shelley, and Wordsworth symptomatically as sites in which this myth of autonomy is by turns critiqued and anxiously reproduced, Isolated Cases seeks to understand the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century roots of the renunciation of origins. Lucid, rigorous, and deeply informed, Yousef's book shows that our close readings of the birth of the self-governed subject have not been nearly close enough."-David L. Clark, Professor, Department of English, and Associate Member, Health Studies Programme, McMaster University
"Nancy Yousef's readings of the 'failure' of autonomy from Rousseau's lonely solitary to the bookish child that was John Stuart Mill, by way of the egotistically isolated Wordsworth and Frankenstein's outcast wretch, point us toward a relational, gendered world of human community that lurks behind apparently solitary minds. This important book analyzes intersections between literature and philosophy that shed light on both disciplines and on our need for relational models of the development of the human subject."-Ashton Nichols, Professor of English Language and Literature, Dickinson College, and author of The Revolutionary"I": Wordsworth and the Politics of Self-Presentation
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Nancy Yousef charts the emergence of autonomy as a concept in Romantic literature, demonstrating that the ideal was beset from the beginning by profound concerns over the possibilities & grounds of human relations & independence.
Main Description
The literature of the romantic period has consistently been seen as the source of modern concepts of the individual. Nancy Yousef maintains, however, that the dominant account of the self in romanticism is in need of profound revision. While individuals presented in central texts of the period are indeed often alone or separated from others, Yousef regards this isolation as a problem the texts attempt to illuminate, rather than a condition they construct as normative or desirable. As her argument moves from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century, through both philosophical and literary writing, her book offers a new account of autonomy and of the complex romantic inheritance of enlightenment preoccupations with the origins of human association and the course of human development. In her richly interdisciplinary book, Nancy Yousef addresses the emergence of autonomy, demonstrating that the ideal was beset from its beginnings by profound concerns over the possibilities and grounds of human relations and interdependence. Isolated Cases draws attention to the strain of intersubjective anxieties and longings hidden within representations of the individual as self-sufficient and self-defining. Among the writers and thinkers Yousef treats at length are John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Mary Shelley, and William Wordsworth.
Unpaid Annotation
The literature of the romantic period has consistently been seen as the source of modern concepts of the individual. Nancy Yousef maintains, however, that the dominant account of the self in romanticism is in need of profound revision. While individuals presented in central texts of the period are indeed often alone or separated from others, Yousef regards this isolation as a problem the texts attempt to illuminate, rather than a condition they construct as normative or desirable.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Introductionp. 1
Locke's lonelinessp. 26
Rousseau's autonomous beast : natural man as imaginary animalp. 63
Natural man in the wild : the feral child as philosophical subjectp. 96
"Unfathered vapour" : the imagination of origins in The preludep. 114
Fantastic form : Frankenstein and philosophyp. 149
Mill alonep. 170
Notesp. 198
Indexp. 245
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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