The Resource Distraction : problems of attention in eighteenth-century literature, Natalie M. Phillips

Distraction : problems of attention in eighteenth-century literature, Natalie M. Phillips

Distraction : problems of attention in eighteenth-century literature
Title remainder
problems of attention in eighteenth-century literature
Statement of responsibility
Natalie M. Phillips
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 dizzying array of essays, poems, sermons, and histories. In Distraction, Natalie M. Phillips argues that prominent Enlightenment authors-from Jane Austen and William Godwin to Eliza Haywood and Samuel Johnson-were deeply engaged with debates about the wandering mind, even if they were not equally concerned about the problem of distractibility. Phillips explains that some novelists in the 1700s-viewing distraction as a dangerous wandering from singular attention that could lead to sin or even madness-attempted to reform diverted readers
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index present
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LC item number
P47 2016
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
  • dictionaries
  • bibliography
Distraction : problems of attention in eighteenth-century literature, Natalie M. Phillips
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
  • net
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online resource
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Content type MARC source
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
Control code
1 online resource (pages cm.)
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  • (OCoLC)958448894
  • ebl1421420139

Library Locations

    • Deakin University Library - Geelong Waurn Ponds CampusBorrow it
      75 Pigdons Road, Waurn Ponds, Victoria, 3216, AU
      -38.195656 144.304955
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