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The Neural Sublime Cognitive Theories and Romantic Texts by Alan Richardson

The Neural Sublime Cognitive Theories and Romantic Texts


The Neural Sublime Cognitive Theories and Romantic Texts by Alan Richardson

The Neural Sublime brings recent work in cognitive neuroscience to bear on some famously vexed issues in British Romantic studies. In exciting and unprecedented ways, Alan Richardson demonstrates how developments in the neurosciences can transform the study of literary history. Richardson presents six exemplary studies, each exploring a different intersection of Romanticism and the sciences of the mind and brain: the experience of the sublime and the neuroscience of illusion; the Romantic imagination and visual imaging; the figure of apostrophe and linguistic theory; fictional representations of the mind and theory of mind theory; depictions of sibling incest and neo-Darwinian theories of mental behavior; and representations of female speech and cognitive developmental psychology. Richardson's insightful analysis opens fresh perspectives on British Romanticism, pointing scholars to new developments in cognitive literary studies. He combines elements of new historicist analysis with original-and much-needed-models for understanding language, subjectivity, and social behavior. Far from signaling a departure from the prevalent critical approaches of new historicism, Richardson argues, cognitive theory presents an essential complement to them. The Neural Sublime features an array of cognitive and neuroscientific approaches, providing an engaging and readable introduction to the emergent field of cognitive literary studies.


This exemplary book may prove one of the most influential books on Romantic literature for decades to come... Essential. * Choice * A work of considerable variety and ambition, engagingly written, refreshingly undogmatic in its methods and generous in acknowledging related work in the field, The Neural Sublime will be essential reading for those interested in romanticism's relationship with the human sciences; it is also highly recommended for anyone in the field of romantic studies partial to interdisciplinary conversations. -- Tim Milnes * Review of English Studies * Accesible to experienced practitioners and novice readers alike, this volume makes an interdisciplinary evaluation of subjects and issues which isolated disciplines cannot tackle alone. -- Jenny Walklate * Time & Mind *

About the Author

Alan Richardson is a professor of English at Boston College, author of British Romanticism and the Science of the Mind, and coeditor of The Work of Fiction: Cognition, Culture, and Complexity.

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Book Info

Publication date

12th May 2010


Alan Richardson

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Johns Hopkins University Press


200 pages


Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900
Cognition & cognitive psychology



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