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“To stop the clock of busy existence”: Paralysis and Temporal and Spatial Modes of Observation and Obfuscation in Victorian Literature

Thursday Lecture Series, Observation and Obfuscation

dateApril 18, 2019 timeThursday, 12:15pm EDT location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University
  • Arden Hegele
  • Audience open exclusively to Columbia faculty, students, and invited guests
  • All others interested in attending, please email SOF/Heyman at [email protected].
1842 portrait painting of Charles Dickens by Francis Alexander

Full Title: “To stop the clock of busy existence”: paralysis and temporal and spatial modes of observation and obfuscation in Victorian literature

This lecture explores how literary writers invoke paralysis to comment on anxieties about the relationship between mental and embodied knowledge, in light of neurological debates on organic vs. functional causes of paralysis and the problems of interpreting the legible signs presented by the paralyzed body. Specific examples will be drawn from the fiction of Charles Dickens and George Eliot in addition to children’s literature.

Guest lecturer: Heather Tilley, Queen Mary University
Lecturer in Victorian Literature