Academic Commons

Theses Doctoral

Mimetic Sensations: Sensation Genres, Victorian Realism, and the Transmission of Feeling

Simon, Jessica

My dissertation, Mimetic Sensations: Sensation Genres, Victorian Realism, and the Transmission of Feeling, focuses on the little explored subject of how Victorians imagined feeling to transfer both within fictional scenes of representation and between fictional scenes and the real bodies of the audience or readers consuming them. Turning to mid-nineteenth century criticism, Victorian theories of emotion and physiology (primarily by Alexander Bain), sensation genres across different media (novels and plays by Wilkie Collins, the sensation dramas of Boucicault), along with the “high” realism of George Eliot, I contend that sensation was envisioned as crucial to the transfer of fictional feeling into real feeling. Realism operates not only in how it converts the raw materials from real life into a fictional form of verisimilitude, but in how the fictional representation becomes reconverted into lived, embodied feelings in the real world through those who witness it.

Files

This item is currently under embargo. It will be available starting 2024-10-04.

More About This Work

Academic Units
English and Comparative Literature
Thesis Advisors
Marcus, Sharon
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 22, 2019
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.