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Chapter 6 focuses on the introduction of empathy into the English language in 1909, and the blurring of the Victorian notion of sympathy as a social process and Vernon Lee’s conception of empathy as an aesthetic experience. As such, I read Lee as a figure of Modernism, finding within her work traces of a modernist aesthetic. It includes case studies of Lee’s partnership with poet A. Mary F. Robinson and Scottish artist Clementina “Kit” Anstruther-Thomson. Rather than a wholly sympathetic collaboration, the final chapter traces a model that is not necessarily reliant upon individuals coming together in concord, but is founded on the privatization of the aesthetic experience and the discord that arises due to the individualist qualities advanced by the aesthetic imperative.
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