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Chapter 3 - Organic Aesthetics from Richardson to Goethe

from Part II - The Colonial Body: From Behn to Goethe

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2020

Peter Boxall
Affiliation:
University of Sussex
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Summary

This chapter, the second of two chapters on the eighteenth-century novel, focuses on the contractive urge in the novel of the period, and the attempt to picture organically whole bodies in the novel form as it develops from Fielding, Sterne and Richardson to Burney and Goethe. It suggests that this strand in the eighteenth-century novel, in opposition to the expansive drive explored in the previous chapter, is shaped by a desire for what Coleridge theorises as an organic aesthetic, but it argues too that even as the novel of the period is invested in such pictures of organic completion, it opens up forms of distance between mind and body which are the province of the prosthetic imagination.

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Chapter
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The Prosthetic Imagination
A History of the Novel as Artificial Life
, pp. 117 - 146
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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