Strange Cases by Jason Tougaw
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Strange Cases
By Jason Tougaw

Strange Cases

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Format: Hardback

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Strange Cases by Jason Tougaw

Book Description

Strange Cases is the story of the mutual influence of the case history and the British novel during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Fictions from Defoe's Roxana to James's The Turn of the Screw and case histories from George Cheyne's to Sigmund Freud's have found narrative impetus in pathology. The writer of a case history faces a rhetorical bind unique to the human sciences: the need to display the acumen of a scientist and the sympathy warranted to the suffering patient. Repeatedly, case historians justify their publicizing of extreme, often morbid or perverse, states of mind and body by appealing to readers to take pity on patients and to recognize the narrative as a vital social document. Diagnosis and sympathy, explicit rhetorical modes in case histories, operate implicitly in novels, shaping reader-identification. While these two narrative forms set out to fulfill an Enlightenment drive to classify and explain, they also raise social and epistemological questions that challenge some of the Enlightenment's most cherished ideals, including faith in reason, the perfectibility of humankind, and the stability of truth.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415977166
ISBN-10: 0415977169
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Pages: 254
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 20-Jul-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Jason Tougaw

Jason Tougaw is Assistant Professor of English at Queens College, CUNY. He is the co-editor of Extremities: Trauma, Testimony, and Community (with Nancy K. Miller). His essays have appeared in JAC, Auto/Biography Studies, and The Scholar and the Feminist.

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