By Laurence Lerner
What's the distinction among private and non-private feeling, and the way some distance will we deduce prior emotions from the phrases which have been left us? Why do baby deaths determine so usually and so prominently within the literature of the 19th century, and the way used to be the topic of the dying of a kid used to elicit such poignant responses within the readers of that period? during this attention-grabbing new booklet, Laurence Lerner vividly contrasts the contempt with which 20th- century feedback so usually dismisses such works as mere sentimentality with the keenness and tears of nineteenth-century contemporaries.Drawing examples from either actual and literary deaths, Lerner delves into the writings of famous authors corresponding to Dickens, Coleridge, Shelley, Flaubert, Mann, Huxley, and Hesse, in addition to lesser recognized writers like Felicia Hemans and Lydia Sigourney. within the strategy, he synthesizes clean rules in regards to the thorny topics of sentimentality, aesthetic judgment, and the functionality of faith in literature.Lerner's forthright and evocative prose type is pleasant examining, and he excels in teasing out the ethical implications and the psychosocial entanglements of his selected narrative and lyrical texts. this can be a ebook that would remove darkness from an immense element of the historical past of personal existence. it may have large software for these drawn to the heritage, sociology, and literature of the 19th century.
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Additional resources for Angels and absences: child deaths in the nineteenth century
Death in literature. 3. ChildrenGreat BritainMortality- -History19th century. 4. American literature19th century- -History and criticism. 5. Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870Characters- -Children. 6. ChildrenDeathPsychological aspects. 7. Sentimentalism in literature. 8. Children in literature. I. Title. 9'3548'09034dc2197-4572 CIP Manufactured in the United States of America Page v to Wayne Booth Page vii Contents List of Illustrations ix Preface xi 1 Real Deaths 1 2 Strategies of Consolation: The Dead Child in Poetry 40 3 The Life and Death of Paul Dombey, and Other Child Deaths in Dickens 82 4 Heaven Claims Its Own: Child Deaths in Nineteenth Century Fictionand After 126 5 Sentimentality: For and Against 174 Conclusion 213 Notes 223 Bibliography 239 Index 249 Page ix List of Illustrations (following page 113) 1.
By inserting it at the beginning of her account, Mrs. Tait (with perhaps half-conscious artistry) is providing a framework for our acceptance of the ensuing tragedy. " I said, "The Lord Jesus Christ has taken your dear Catty to heaven. " She became very silent, and did not answer me, but her mind seemed satisfied. Though her role as a clergyman's wife may have laid on her an especial duty of faith, and of being seen to have faith, there is no reason to doubt the genuineness of these assertions.
The first is immediate and untheoretical, to record how moving it is: for some purposes this is all we want to say, and it may, given the original document, not be necessary to say anything. But for other purposes we might want to make a theoretical point: that as readers we are confronted only with words, from which we derive the visceral experience of a mother's grief, and can be moved to a similar, if less intense, visceral experience of our own. Fact and Fiction When Elizabeth Prentiss writes "God has been most merciful to us in this affliction, and, if a bereaved, we are still a happy household and full of thanksgiving," this claim will sound, to many a modern reader, like the rote repetition of a formula.