Download Aesthetic materialism : electricity and American romanticism by Paul Gilmore PDF

By Paul Gilmore

ISBN-10: 080476123X

ISBN-13: 9780804761239

ISBN-10: 0804770972

ISBN-13: 9780804770972

Aesthetic Materialism: electrical energy and American Romanticism specializes in American romantic writers' makes an attempt to theorize aesthetic adventure in the course of the language of electrical energy. in line with medical and technological advancements, so much particularly the telegraph, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century electric imagery mirrored the mysterious workings of the actual brain in addition to the doubtful, occasionally stunning connections among contributors. Writers comparable to Whitman, Melville, and Douglass drew on photos of electrical energy and telegraphy to explain literature either because the made of particular fiscal and social stipulations and as a method of transcending the person decided by way of such stipulations. Aesthetic Materialism strikes among ancient and cultural research and shut textual interpreting, not easy readers to determine American literature as right now formal and ancient and as a made from either aesthetic and fabric experience.

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11 As a subtle aether permeating the universe, electricity offered a bridge between the physical and the spiritual, between the inanimate world of Newtonian physics and life itself. In fact, as Patricia Fara has noted, “one major function of electrical aethers was to account for God’s continuing involvement in the world. . ”12 Despite the broad rejection of Galvani’s animal electricity and Franz Anton Mesmer’s animal magnetism, this spiritualized understanding of electricity continued to provide a powerful possibility for associationists and others concerned with maintaining a philosophical defense of Christian moral responsibility within a materialistic, scientific worldview.

Anaesthetic technological and romantic attempts to define electricity come together as part of a broader attempt to stabilize and substantiate the links among art, language, political and cultural structures, and the individual mind. Reconstructing this use of electricity then sets us up to recognize, in the chapters to come, the more radical critique of traditional and bourgeois notions of the self, the body, and their boundaries offered by a more materialist version of romantic electricity. Electric Aether and Associationism The era of literary romanticism witnessed some of the most important breakthroughs in the scientific study of electro-magnetism, discoveries that both drew on and energized European romanticism.

Be the means, under God, of extirpating all error and prejudice, and of putting an end to all undue and usurped authority. . ”14 As historian James Delbourgo century—to reincorporate ideas of free will and Christian theology with an emphasis on a mechanically determined physical world. Accounting for the intersection between a physical world and a spiritual realm—between mechanistic determinism and free choice—associationists frequently turned to electricity. Hartley, for example, cited electricity “as a Clue and Guide .

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Aesthetic materialism : electricity and American romanticism by Paul Gilmore


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