Description - Thoughts Painfully Intense by James N. Mancall
Thoughts Painfully Intense reads Hawthorne's fiction in the context of nineteenth-century medical and pseudomedical discourse. Many physicians, health reformers and lecturers, such as Chandler Robbins, Sylvester Graham, William Sweetster and Isaac Ray, believed that authors and scholars, particularly male authors and scholars, were vulnerable to nervous irritability, breakdown and paralysis. According to these authorities, men of letters, strained by intense study or lost in imaginative fantasies, became debilitated invalids. And, what was perhaps even more alarming, this debility could be contagious. Sensational or corrupt literature contained 'noxious' ideas and images. These ideas and images, sometimes clothed in seemingly rational and reliable language, had the power to pollute and corrupt unwary readers. Throughout his career, Hawthorne struggled with the idea that the author was an invalid, from his first novel, Fanshawe to his unfinished romances. The author shows that, however Hawthorne struggled, the Paradoxical figure of the invalid author, characterized by effeminate debility and virulent power was something from which he could never fully free himself.
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(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
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