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"My thought is me: that is why I cannot stop. I exist because I think... and I can't stop myself from thinking." - Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea
Writing the Mind: Representing Consciousness from Proust to Darrieussecq explores the works of seven ground-breaking thinkers and novelists of recent history to compare and contrast the varying representations of the conscious and the unconscious mind. Grounding his study in the writings of philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre and Marcel Proust, Simon Kemp explores the non-literary influences of science, faith and philosophy as presented in their works, demonstrates how writers learn from and sometimes deviate from preceding generations, and how they agree or disagree with their peers. Kemp's elegant study also charts the rise and wane of Freudian influence on literature through the twentieth century, and the emergence of cognitive and neo-Darwinian ideas at the dawn of the twenty-first. In the work of these seven writers, we discover radically different understandings of how consciousness and the unconscious mind are constituted, which are the most salient characteristics of mental life, and even what it is that defines a mind at all.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781138717053
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Simon Kemp is Associate Professor of French at Sommerville College, Oxford.
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