This Invisible Riot of the Mind: Samuel Johnson's Psychological Theory
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992 - 198 pàgines
In This Invisible Riot of the Mind, Gloria Sybil Gross contends that Samuel Johnson was a pioneer in the development of modern psychological thought, challenging the timeworn, stilted typecasting of Samuel Johnson as the pious Christian moralist. Instead, she argues that Johnson was a daring, at times irreverent, explorer of human nature, who strenuously rejected old relics of sanctimony and repressive authority. To make her case, Gross draws on a wide range of materials from Johnson's life and works, as well as from eighteenth-century medical psychology. Throughout, she is scrupulous in analyzing Johnson's psychological thought within the cultural idiom that would have been available to him. At the same time, she employs a classical psychoanalytic approach, that seeks to establish a coherent relationship among Johnson's life, his fantasies, and his creative work.
This reading of Johnson reveals the radical direction of his investigations of mental experience, which put him in clear prospect of the basic premises underlying Freudian psychoanalysis. Gross argues that these premises--the principle of psychological determinism, the view of the mind as dictated by forces in conflict, the concept of the dynamic unconscious, and the submerged power of desire in all human activity--pervade Johnson's writings. Gross demonstrates not only that Johnson can profitably be read in psychoanalytic terms, but that Johnson is a psychological theorist of primary importance.
This original and insightful work will be of interest to students and scholars of English literature, eighteenth-century studies, and literature and psychology.
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If we return now to the 1750s , the decade of Johnson's astonishing personal and intellectual growth , Rasselas emerges as the culminating product . The wellknown state of affairs surrounding its composition — his mother's death ...
With the case of the mad astronomer , Rasselas and company are shocked into confessing and recanting their own secret lives . But there is a sense in which we are never completely free of fantasy , nor would we want to be , given the ...
The critical studies of Rasselas are legion and some of the traditional views of its intellectual background are among the best , in particular , Gwin Kolb , “ The Structure of Rasselas , ” PMLA 66 ( Sept 1991 ) : 698–717 ; Paul Fussell ...
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