Eighteenth-Century Fiction and the Reinvention of Wonder

Eighteenth-Century Fiction and the Reinvention of Wonder

Sarah Tindal Kareem, "Eighteenth-Century Fiction and the Reinvention of Wonder"
English | ISBN: 0199689105 | 2014 | 304 pages | PDF | 3 MB

A footprint materializes mysteriously on a deserted shore; a giant helmet falls from the sky; a traveler awakens to find his horse dangling from a church steeple. Eighteenth-century fiction brims with moments such as these, in which the prosaic rubs up against the marvelous. While it is a truism that the period`s literature is distinguished by its realism and air of probability, argues that wonder is integral to-rather than antithetical to-the developing techniques of novelistic fiction. Positioning its reader on the cusp between recognition and estrangement, between faith and doubt, modern fiction hinges upon wonder.

`s chapters unfold its new account of fiction`s rise through surprising new readings of classic early novels-from Daniel Defoe`s Robinson Crusoe to Jane Austen`s Northanger Abbey-as well as bringing to attention lesser known works, most notably Rudolf Raspe`s Baron Munchausen`s Narrative of His Marvellous Travels. In this bold new account, the eighteenth century bears witness not to the world`s disenchantment but rather to wonder`s re-location from the supernatural realm to the empirical world, providing a re-evaluation not only of how we look back at the Enlightenment, but also of how we read today.

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