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Author Gordon, Scott Paul, 1965-
Title The power of the passive self in English literature, 1640-1770 / Scott Paul Gordon.
Imprint Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Author Gordon, Scott Paul, 1965-
Subject English literature -- 18th century -- History and criticism.
Passivity (Psychology) in literature.
English literature -- Early modern, 1500-1700 -- History and criticism.
Christianity and literature -- Great Britain -- History -- 18th century.
Christianity and literature -- Great Britain -- History -- 17th century.
Ethics in literature.
Self in literature.
Description 1 online resource (xi, 279 pages)
Bibliography Note Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-272) and index.
Contents Introduction. "Spring and motive of our actions": disinterest and self-interest -- "Acted by another": agency and action in early modern England -- "The belief of the people": Thomas Hobbes and the battle over the heroic -- "For want of some heedfull eye": Mr. Spectator and the power of spectacle -- "For its own sake": virtue and agency in early eighteenth-century England -- "Not perform'd at all": managing Garrick's body in eighteenth-century England -- "I wrote my heart": Richardson's Clarissa and the tactics of sentiment -- Epilogue: "A sign of so noble a passion": the politics of disinterested selves.
Note Print version record.
Summary "Challenging recent work that contends that seventeenth-century English discourses privilege the notion of a self-enclosed, self-sufficient individual, The Power of the Passive Self in English Literature recovers a counter-tradition that imagines selves as more passively prompted than actively choosing.
This tradition - which Scott Paul Gordon locates in seventeenth-century religious discourse, in early eighteenth-century moral philosophy, in mid eighteenth-century acting theory, and in the emergent novel - resists autonomy and defers agency from the individual to an external "prompter." Gordon argues that the trope of passivity aims to guarantee a disinterested self in a culture that was increasingly convinced that every deliberate action involves calculating one's own interest. Gordon traces the origins of such ideas from their roots in the nonconformist religious tradition to their flowering in one of the central texts of eighteenth-century literature, Samuel Richardson's Clarissa."--Jacket.
ISBN 0511042124 (electronic bk.)
9780511042126 (electronic bk.)
0511120079 (electronic bk.)
9780511120077 (electronic bk.)
9780511484254 (electronic bk.)
0511484259 (electronic bk.)
9780511044953 (electronic bk.)
051104495X (electronic bk.)
OCLC # 56314949
Additional Format Print version: Gordon, Scott Paul, 1965- Power of the passive self in English literature, 1640-1770. Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2002 0521810051 (DLC) 2001043612 (OCoLC)48013180

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