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dc.contributor.advisorHughes, Linda K.
dc.contributor.authorBlackman, Melissa Rowellen_US
dc.identifierMicrofilm Diss. 834.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation aims at rewriting the history of existentialism and reconsidering the conventional distinctions between philosophy and literature. By reading nineteenth-century literature with a focus on philosophies of consciousness and selfhood, this project argues that much of nineteenth-century thought can and should be seen as a cumulative cultural formation, a direct predecessor of what ultimately crystallizes in modernity under the label ¿existentialism.¿ Examining nineteenth-century writers' obsessions with self-consciousness, identity, melancholy, alienation, neurosis and ennui as key literary and philosophical precursors to twentieth-century existentialism reveals that we are dealing with a philosophical phenomenon; unfortunately, however, we tend to view this phenomenon solely as results of the limitations that we place upon the perceived discourses of philosophy and literature and what we chronologically term ¿modernity.¿ Only by resisting conventional distinctions between philosophy and literature, highlighting the philosophical underpinnings of poetic discourse, and situating such work in the historic and epistemic development of the nineteenth century do we gain sight of the hitherto unrecognized precursors of existential thought. This study also seeks to reassess nineteenth-century literature, primarily by reconsidering nineteenth-century thinkers, their intellectual projects, and the literature through which these projects are carried forth. In so doing, I seek to complicate traditional labeling of nineteenth-century thinkers; for instance, my arguments import Tennyson's thought into the fin-de-si¿cle rather than seeing him as a force against whom belated poets react. One drawback of recent studies in Victorian poetry is that these studies have hitherto primarily been studied only in the context of Victorian Britain rather than in the context of larger European thought and modernism. The sources that I cover place nineteenth-century literature in that larger context, enabling larger connections in thought to reveal themselves. Additionally, while scholars such as Janet Oppenheim and Eckbert Faas have given impressive attention to the correlation between the rise of mental science, the discourse of disease, and the nineteenth-century fascination with psychology, much less has been done with the philosophical and epistemological implications of such acute self-consciousness. This study thus does exactly that: explore the philosophical, epistemological, and metaphysical implications of self-consciousness in the nineteenth century.
dc.format.extentvi, 266 leavesen_US
dc.format.mediumFormat: Printen_US
dc.relation.ispartofTexas Christian University dissertationen_US
dc.subject.lcshEnglish literature--19th century--History and criticismen_US
dc.subject.lcshExistentialism in literatureen_US
dc.subject.lcshMelancholy in literatureen_US
dc.subject.lcshSelf-consciousness in literatureen_US
dc.titleThe existential rhetoric of ennui and melancholia: 19th century literature of self-consciousness and the quest for meaningen_US
dc.typeTexten_US of English
local.collegeAddRan College of Liberal Arts
local.academicunitDepartment of English
dc.identifier.callnumberMain Stacks: AS38 .B583 (Regular Loan)
dc.identifier.callnumberSpecial Collections: AS38 .B583 (Non-Circulating) of Philosophy Christian University

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