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Description - Literature, Science, Psychoanalysis, 1830-1970 by Helen Small

The interactions between literature and science and between literature and psychoanalysis have been among the most thriving areas for interdisciplinary study in recent years. Work in these 'open fields' has taught us to recognize the interdependence of different cultures of knowledge and experience, revealing the multiple ways in which science, literature, and psychoanalysis have been mutually enabling and defining, as well as corrective and contestatory of each other. Inspired by Gillian Beer's path-breaking work on literature and science, this volume presents fourteen new essays by leading American and British writers. They focus on the evolutionary sciences in the nineteeth-century; the early years of psychoanalysis, from Freud to Ella Freeman Sharpe; and the modern development of the physical sciences. Drawing on recent debates within the history of science, psychoanalytic literary criticism, intellectual history, and gender studies, the volume makes a major contribution to our understanding of the formation of knowledge. Among its recurrent themes are: curiosity and epistemology; 'growth', 'maturity', and 'coming of age' as structuring metaphors (several essays focus especially on childhood); taxonomy; sleep and dreaming and elusive knowledge; the physiology of truth; and the gender politics of scientific theory and practice. The essays also reflect Beer's extensive influence as a literary critic, with close readings of works by Charlotte Bronte, Alfred Lord Tennyson, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Oscar Wilde, H. G. Wells, Edith Ayrton Zangwill, Charlotte Haldane, Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, and Karin Boye.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780199266678
ISBN-10: 0199266670
Format: Hardback
(242mm x 163mm x 19mm)
Pages: 264
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 10-Jul-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Helen Small

Biographical Note on Gillian Beer: Dame Gillian Beer was born on 27 January 1935 in Bookham, Surrey, and was educated at St Anne's College, Oxford. On graduating she lectured at Bedford College, London, (1959-62) and Liverpool University (1962-4). A Fellow at Girton College, Cambridge, between 1965 and 1994, Gillian Beer began lecturing at Cambridge in 1966 and became Reader in Literature and Narrative in 1971. She was made Professor of English in 1989 and in 1994 became King Edward VII Professor of English Literature and President of Clare Hall at Cambridge. She holds honorary degrees from Liverpool University, Leicester University, Cardiff University, Anglia Polytechnic University, and Universite de Paris Sorbonne, and has been awarded medals by M.I.T., St Andrew's University, and the National Autonomous University, Mexico City. Gillian Beer became a DBE in 1998. She was a Booker judge in 1993, Vice-President of the British Academy from 1994 to 1996, Chairman of the Poetry Book Society (1992-6), and Chairman of the Judges of the Booker Prize for Fiction (1997). She is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was a Booker judge in 1993 and Chair of the Booker judges in 1997. Her books include Darwin's Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Fiction (1983, 2nd edition 2000) and Virginia Woolf: the Common Ground (1996).

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