Dickens and Mesmerism

Dickens and Mesmerism

The Hidden Springs of Fiction

Book - 1975
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Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [1975]
Branch Call Number: WM 49 K141d 1975
823 D 55yka
Characteristics: xv, 250 p., 4 leaves of plates : ill. ; 23 cm

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theorbys Feb 15, 2013

Dickens was a mesmeric operator and friends with controversial leaders of the movement, but did not write much directly about mesmerism in his fiction. But Kaplan believes it was a hidden source and explains much about Dickens' characters: the strong willfulness of the ones, and the impressionable lack of will of the others. Mesmerism's universal all permeating magnetic fluid was somewhat like the Poetic Imagination of the previous, Romantic, generation of writers (combined with the theory of the ether) and gave the mind, and hence the novelist, real and powerful tools to know the deepest secrets of reality and self. Dickens the writer seems to have accepted the reality of this fluid and of the will's power to use it and transposed that into his fiction. It is an interesting perspective on Dickens' writing.

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