Cover: Affecting Fictions: Mind, Body, and Emotion in American Literary Realism, from Harvard University PressCover: Affecting Fictions in HARDCOVER

Affecting Fictions

Mind, Body, and Emotion in American Literary Realism

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Product Details


$65.00 • £52.95 • €58.50

ISBN 9780674025127

Publication Date: 06/30/2007


320 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


  • Introduction: The “Affective Fallacy” Fallacy
    • The Entanglements of Two Cultures
    • Literature and Neurology, 1860–1910
    • Rethinking Emotion
  • 1. “The Zest, the Tingle, the Excitement of Reality”
    • Toward a New Conceptual Genealogy for American Literary Realism
    • “Being Moved”: Modernity, Evolution, and the Reflex Arc
    • Laughter, Reflection, and Realization in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • 2. Statistical Pity: Elsie Venner and the Controversy over Childbed Fever
    • The Case against Contagion
    • Representing “Ontological Shadows”
    • Holmes’s “Algebra of Human Nature”
    • Pathological Particularity in the Novel
    • Coda: Anecdote and Abstraction
  • 3. Fear and Epistemology: Tracking the Train of Feeling in A Mortal Antipathy
    • From Physiognomy to Physiology
    • Excess and Dissolution of the Nervous System
    • Embodied Memory and the Pathogenic Secret
    • The Forensic Self
  • 4. Nervous Effort: Gilman, Crane, and the Psychophysical Pathologies of Everyday Life
    • Freud, Feminist Reading, and Interrogative Criticism
    • A Physiological Approach to Nervousness
    • Effort, Agitation, Aesthetics
    • Fracture and Fabrication: Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage
    • Coda: Reconstruction and “The Yellow Wallpaper"
  • 5. "Mindless" Pleasure: Embodied Music in The Awakening and Theron Ware
    • New Varieties of Religious Experience
    • Theron Ware and the Ironic Rhythm of the Sick Soul
    • Kate Chopin’s Lyrical “Gospel of Relaxation”
    • Music and the Sounding Board of the Body
    • The Rhythm of Desire in The Awakening
    • The Pleasures of “The Storm”
  • 6. Corporeal Wonder: The Occult Entrancements of The Wings of the Dove
    • Charming Milly
    • From Trance to Transference—and Back Again
    • William James and Mrs. Piper: The Medium Is the Message
    • “Tremendous Rites of Nullification"
  • Conclusion: Burning Issues
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

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