Eighteenth-Century Fiction and the Reinvention of Wonder

Hardcover | October 29, 2014

bySarah Tindal Kareem

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A footprint materializes mysteriously on a deserted shore; a giant helmet falls from the sky; a traveler awakens to find his horse dangling from a church steeple. Eighteenth-century fiction brims with moments such as these, in which the prosaic rubs up against the marvelous. While it is atruism that the period's literature is distinguished by its realism and air of probability, Eighteenth-Century Fiction and the Reinvention of Wonder argues that wonder is integral to - rather than antithetical to - the developing techniques of novelistic fiction. Positioning its reader on the cuspbetween recognition and estrangement, between faith and doubt, modern fiction hinges upon wonder. Eighteenth-Century Fiction and the Reinvention of Wonder's chapters unfold its new account of fiction's rise through surprising new readings of classic early novels - from Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe to Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey - as well as bringing to attention lesser known works, mostnotably Rudolf Raspe's Baron Munchausen's Narrative of His Marvellous Travels. In this bold new account, the eighteenth century bears witness not to the world's disenchantment but rather to wonder's re-location from the supernatural realm to the empirical world, providing a re-evaluation not only ofhow we look back at the Enlightenment, but also of how we read today.

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A footprint materializes mysteriously on a deserted shore; a giant helmet falls from the sky; a traveler awakens to find his horse dangling from a church steeple. Eighteenth-century fiction brims with moments such as these, in which the prosaic rubs up against the marvelous. While it is atruism that the period's literature is distingui...

Sarah Tindal Kareem was born in London to an Indian father and a Scottish mother. After reading English at Girton College, Cambridge, she received her PhD from Harvard University's Department of English in 2003. Postdoctoral fellowships took her to the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, to UCLA's Center for Seve...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.1 inPublished:October 29, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199689105

ISBN - 13:9780199689101

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Wonder and the Rise of Fiction1. Wonder in the Age of Enlightenment2. Rethinking the Real with Robinson Crusoe and David Hume3. Suspending the Reader in Tom Jones and The Castle of Otranto4. "Marvelous Tales of Wonders Performed, or rather, Not Performed" in Baron Munchausen's Narrative5. "A Little Voyage of Discovery?": Fiction and the Pursuit of KnowledgeEpilogue