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Rethinking Sympathy and Human Contact in Nineteenth-Century American Literature


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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Transcendental approaches to human contact; 2. 'Some true relation': the evolution of Hawthorne's understanding of human contact; 3. 'The sentiment of justice must revolt in every heart': Frederick Douglass, white empathy, and the humanity of black autobiography; 4. 'All the vivacities of life lie in differences': abrasive sympathy after Uncle Tom's Cabin; 5. 'Sweet skepticism of the heart”: Dickinson's sympathetic phenomenology.

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Analyzes the evolution of antebellum literary explorations of sympathy and human contact in the 1850s and 1860s.

About the Author

Marianne Noble is the author of The Masochistic Pleasures of Sentimental Literature (2000), which won a Choice Outstanding Book Award. She also co-edited Emily Dickinson and Philosophy (Cambridge, 2013) and has published essays in Studies in American Fiction, The Yale Journal of Criticism, New England Quarterly, and The Emily Dickinson Journal. She has served on the Boards of American Literature, the Emily Dickinson International Society, Legacy, and the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review. In 2016, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Korea. She is an Associate Professor of Literature at American University, Washington DC and received her Ph.D. from Columbia University.


'Rethinking Sympathy and Human Contact joins a wider and important conversation about the ways in which literature imagines togetherness and the functions of sentiments, emotions, and affects within these emplotments.' Thomas Constantinesco, The Emily Dickinson International Society

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