Rethinking sympathy and human contact in nineteenth-century American literature : Hawthorne, Douglass, Stowe, Dickinson / Marianne Noble.

Noble, Marianne, 1968- [Browse]
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2019.
1 online resource (viii, 294 pages)


Cambridge studies in American literature and culture ; 182. [More in this series]
Summary note
In accessible and impassioned discussions of literature and philosophy, this book reveals a surprising approach to the intractable problem of human contact. Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Emily Dickinson rethought the nature of human contact, turning away from transcendentalist approaches and towards sympathetic ones. Their second and third works portray social masks as insufficient, not deceptive, and thus human contact requires not violent striking through the mask but benevolent skepticism towards persons. They imagine that people feel real in a real world with real others when they care for others for the other's sake and when they make caring relationships the cornerstone of their own being. Grounded in philosophies of sympathy - including Adam Smith and J. G. Herder - and relational psychology - Winnicott and Benjamin - Rethinking Sympathy and Human Contact in Nineteenth-Century American Literature shows that antebellum literature rejects individualist definitions of the human and locates the antidote to human disconnection in sympathy.
Title from publisher's bibliographic system (viewed on 13 Mar 2019).
9781108698931 (ebook)
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