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Distraction : problems of attention in eighteenth-century literature

Author: Natalie M Phillips
Publisher: Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Early novel reading typically conjures images of rapt readers in quiet rooms, but commentators at the time described reading as a fraught activity, one occurring amidst a distracting cacophony that included sloshing chamber pots and wailing street vendors. Auditory distractions were compounded by literary ones as falling paper costs led to an explosion of print material, forcing prose fiction to compete with a  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Phillips, Natalie M.
Distraction.
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016
(DLC) 2015035552
(OCoLC)926105949
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Natalie M Phillips
ISBN: 9781421420134 1421420139
OCLC Number: 958448894
Description: 1 online resource
Contents: Cover; Half-title; Title; Copyright; Contents; Preface; Introduction: The Literary History of Distraction; The Unifocal and the Multifocal; The Rise of the Distracted Character; Attention, Distraction, and Enlightenment Philosophy of Mind; A Swiftly Tilting Madness; Categorizing Distraction; 1 Mind Wandering: Forms of Distraction in the Eighteenth-Century Essay; Distraction and the Eighteenth-Century Essay; The Rhetoric of Attention: Appealing to Pathos and Brevitas; The Essay as a Tool of Focus; Training Attention to Attention; Strengthening Focus: Repetition and Dramatic Irony. Economies of AttentionThe History of Attention Span; 2 Lapses of Concentration: Distracted Vigilance and the Female Mind; Environment and Mind: Urban Diversion and the Distracted Brain; The Problem of a Soft Female Mind; Sex, Environment, and the Multifocal Coquette; The Challenges of Situational Awareness; Philosophizing Multiplicity: Cognitive Bottlenecks and Sorting Gloves; Strained Omniscience and the Distracted Heroine; The Crowded Syntax of Sexual Inattention; "Might as Well Be Passed Over as Read": Indulging the Diverted Reader. 3 Scattered Attention: Distraction and the Rhythm of Cognitive OverloadRhythms of Narrative, Rhythms of Mind; Tristram's Style and the Scattered Rhythms of Cognitive Overload; Susannah and the Vexed Situation of Madam Reader; The Anatomy of Parallel Processing; The Sermon and Rhythms of Distraction; Hobbyhorses and the Individual Beat of Interest; Irregular Distraction: The Tempo of Cognitive Overload; Rhythms of the Brain: Creativity and the Timing of Distraction; 4 Fixated Attention: The Gothic Pathology of Single-Minded Focus; Microscope and Mind. Scientific Metaphors and the Madness of AttentionThe Politics and Poetics of Fixation; Involuntary Attention: A Multifocal Selective Blindness; Sympathy and the Bene.ts of Distraction; Rewriting Suspense: Interruption and the Gothic Sublime; Fixation and the Science of Obsession; 5 Divided Attention: Characterization and Cognitive Richness in Jane Austen; The Power of Multitasking in Pride and Prejudice; The Singular Importance of Inattentive Characters; Mr. Hurst: The Limited Capacity of the Undivided Mind; Mrs. Jenkinson: Narrow Bandwidth and the Creation of Depth. Lydia and Miss Bingley: Caricaturing Cognitive VacancyThe Dangers of Too Much Attention; Distraction as Liveliness of Mind; Mary Bennet: Hyperfocus and Cognitive Immobility; Lady Catherine de Bourgh: The Problem of Excessive Vigilance; Elizabeth Bennet: The Bene.ts of Diversion; Characterizing Reading: Maps of Distraction and Interest; Coda: History of Mind and Literary Neuroscience; Interdisciplinarity: From Theory to Practice; Literary Attention: An fMRI Study of Reading Jane Austen; The Value of Literary History; Notes; Bibliography; Index; A; B; C; D; E; F; G; H; I; J; K; L; M; N; O; P; R.
Responsibility: Natalie M. Phillips.

Abstract:

She draws a direct link between the disparate theories of focus articulated in eighteenth-century literature and modern experiments in neuroscience, revealing that contemporary questions surrounding  Read more...

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Thoroughly informed by engagement with 17th- and 18th-century philosophies of mind, the book is also impressive for its periodic forays into modern cognitive science... Distraction is an important Read more...

 
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