Literary Memory: Scott's Waverley Novels and the Psychology of Narrative

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This book draws together three different but related kinds of inquiry. First, it approaches the history and theory of memory in the long eighteenth century to focus on the philosphical and literary writing of Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment Scotland. Debates about the significance ad working of memory and the nature of cognition were recurrent and contentious throughout the period, and were particularly pronunced in Scotland, where the psychological tradition of common sense philosophy developed in response to the skeptial metaphysics of David Hume. This book examines the importance of these debates for the literature and culture of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: Walter Scott is exemplary, as his thinking about memory was conditioned by the epistemologial arguments of the Scottish enlightenment. Second, it studies Scott's rhetoric of memory and his engagement with, and transformation of, Enlightenment psychological categories, most significantly in the Waverley Novels. Finally, this book is concerned with the role of memory in literary creativity.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLewisburg, PA, USA
PublisherBucknell University Press
Number of pages256
ISBN (Print)0838755399 , 978-0838755396
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2003

Publication series

NameBucknell Studies in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture
PublisherBucknell University Press


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