Catalogue


Shock, memory and the unconscious in Victorian fiction /
Jill L. Matus.
imprint
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2009.
description
x, 247 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0521760240, 9780521760249
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2009.
isbn
0521760240
9780521760249
contents note
Introduction: the psyche in pain -- Historicizing trauma -- Dream and trance: Gaskell's North and south as a "condition-of-consciousness" novel -- Memory and aftermath: from Dicken's "The signalman" to The mystery of Edwin Drood -- Overwhelming emotion and psychic shock in George Eliot's The lifted veil and Daniel Deronda -- Dissociation and multiple selves: memory, Myers and Stevenson's "shilling shocker" -- Afterword on afterwards.
catalogue key
7011057
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 226-235) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-05-01:
Though scholars in a number of disciplines have explored the late-modern concept of trauma, Matus's analysis of the ways in which Victorian authors articulated trauma as an emerging cultural formation makes a unique and significant contribution to literary studies. Individual chapters focus on novels by Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Robert Louis Stevenson, among others, but one of the book's more valuable contributions is its linking of new Victorian technologies--from railway and steamship travel, to new forms of communication, to emerging scientific theories--with the ways in which Victorian authors shaped the concept of trauma, particularly the creation of the traumatized subject. Also author of Unstable Bodies: Victorian Representations of Sexuality and Maternity (CH, Dec'95, 33-2293) and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Elizabeth Gaskell (CH, Nov'07, 45-1315), Matus (Univ. of Toronto) grounds her study in both early Victorian theories of psychology and contemporary literary and cultural theory. The book's concepts may prove challenging for some undergraduates, but Matus's clear prose style helps to make this book a significant and welcome contribution to the literature. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. R. D. Morrison Morehead State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
'Matus's book will take its place alongside others in the past decade that have deepened our understanding of the links between psychological and novelistic innovations in the Victorian age.' Times Literary Supplement
Review of the hardback: 'Matus's book will take its place alongside others in the past decade that have deepened our understanding of the links between psychological and novelistic innovations in the Victorian age.' Times Literary Supplement
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Jill Matus explores shock in Victorian fiction and psychology with startling results that reconfigure the history of trauma theory. Central to Victorian thinking about consciousness and emotion, shock is a concept that challenged earlier ideas about the relationship between mind and body. Although the new materialist psychology of the mid-nineteenth century made possible the very concept of a wound to the psyche - the recognition, for example, that those who escaped physically unscathed from train crashes or other overwhelming experiences might still have been injured in some significant way - it was Victorian fiction, with its complex explorations of the inner life of the individual and accounts of upheavals in personal identity, that most fully articulated the idea of the haunted, possessed, and traumatised subject. This wide-ranging book reshapes our understanding of Victorian theories of mind and memory and reveals the relevance of nineteenth-century culture to contemporary theories of trauma.
Description for Bookstore
In this 2009 text, Jill Matus goes beyond existing studies of the history of trauma to argue that both Victorian psychology and the novel were significant antecedents of twentieth-century trauma theory. In particular, the Victorian novel was instrumental in shaping the idea of the haunted, possessed and traumatized subject.
Description for Bookstore
Jill Matus goes beyond existing studies of the history of trauma to argue that both Victorian psychology and the novel were significant antecedents of twentieth-century trauma theory. In particular, the Victorian novel was instrumental in shaping the idea of the haunted, possessed and traumatised subject.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgementsp. ix
Introduction: the psyche in painp. 1
Historicizing traumap. 20
Dream and trance: Gaskell's North and South as a "condition-of-consciousness" novelp. 61
Memory and aftermath: from Dickens's "The Signalman" to The Mystery of Edwin Droodp. 83
Overwhelming emotion and psychic shock in George Eliot's The Lifted Veil and Daniel Derondap. 121
Dissociation and multiple selves: memory, Myers and Stevenson's "shilling shocker"p. 160
Afterword on afterwardsp. 183
Notesp. 192
Selected bibliographyp. 226
Indexp. 236
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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