Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England


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In contrast, she asserts that the key to understanding the relationship of literary writing to economic experience is what she calls "personal business"—the social and interpersonal relationships of Victorian commercial life in which character was a central mediating concept.


  1. JAMES C. UNGUREANU, PhD?
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Juxtaposing novels by Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Margaret Oliphant with such nonfiction works as popular biographies, periodicals, and business handbooks, the author builds on and extends the insights of the "new economic criticism" by highlighting the embodied, interpersonal, and socially embedded interactions of everyday economic life.

Hunt analyzes the productive and disciplinary roles that character played in the Victorian economy and traces the proliferation of different models of character as literary writing and commercial discourse responded to the challenges and opportunities presented by personal business.

She suggests that the dynamic interchange between forms of character employed in the everyday practice of business and those imagined in literary writing helped shape character as a crucial mode of power in Victorian business culture and economic life. Ultimately, Personal Business provides new ways to understand both the history of the Victorian novel and its implications in middle-class culture and the turbulent experience of nineteenth-century capitalism.


  • Table of Contents: Dying to know!
  • The Tiger Who Came to Tea;
  • The Cartesian Hardy.
  • Staging a Musical (Backstage).
  • Aeron Hunt demonstrates that the realm of the often mysterious individual consciousness was itself an economic topic, with its own line of development throughout the Victorian period. Her scholarship is in many ways impressive. She gives us fresh perspectives on all the novels that reveal formerly obscure facets, and she has discovered a large cache of nonfiction writings connecting commerce and character. University of Virginia Press P.

    SearchWorks Catalog

    More options. Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview. Bibliography Includes bibliographical references p. Contents The narrative of scientific epistemology Dying to know Descartes Carlyle, Descartes, and objectivity : lessen thy denominator Autobiography as epistemology : the effacement of self My life as a machine : Francis Galton, with some reflections on A. Wallace Self-effacement revisited : women and scientific autobiography The test of truth : Our mutual friend Daniel Deronda : a new epistemology The Cartesian Hardy : I think, therefore I'm doomed Daring to know : Karl Pearson and the romance of science The epistemology of science and art : Pearson and Pater.

    Summary In "Dying to Know", eminent critic George Levine makes a landmark contribution to the history and theory of scientific knowledge.

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    This book explores the paradoxes of our modern ideal of objectivity, in particular its emphasis on the impersonality and disinterestedness of truth. How, asks Levine, did this idea of selfless knowledge come to be established and moralized in the 19th century?

    Bestselling in René Descartes

    Levine shows that for 19th-century scientists, novelists, poets and philosophers, access to the truth depended on conditions of such profound self-abnegation that pursuit of it might be taken as tantamount to the pursuit of death. The Victorians, he argues, were dying to know in the sense that they could imagine achieving pure knowledge only in a condition where the body ceases to make its claims: to achieve enlightenment, virtue and salvation, one must die.

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    But it is also something much more: a spirited defence of the pursuit of objectivity, the ethical significance of sacrifice and the importance of finding a shareable form of knowledge. Knowledge, Theory of, in literature.

    Does Believing In Evolution Disprove The Existence Of A Creator? Professor Pritchard & Subboor Ahmad

    Science in literature. Narration Rhetoric.

    Bibliographic information. Publication date ISBN cloth : alk. Browse related items Start at call number: PR S33 L48

    Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England
    Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England
    Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England
    Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England
    Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England
    Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England
    Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England
    Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England
    Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England

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