Professor Philip Davis (University of Liverpool): 'Modelling is what the Victorian Realist Novel Does'
This paper argues that the Victorian Realist Novel is one of the greatest inventions for modelling real existence in the world. It takes an ‘as if’ model of the world and then refines it through a series of existential revisions and category redefinitions. This is the classic Darwinist view of the art historian Gombrich: ‘making before matching’. Victorian realism remains loyal to a norm within the world - in terms of time and space and bodies. But within that conventional post-Romantic norm it finds inner variations that test mundane appearances through the revelation of deeper subdued structures of being which may yet deserve the Romantic term ‘visionary’. Authors will include Hazlitt, Carlyle, Trollope and George Eliot.
This is part of the 'Modelling the Self' public lecture series.
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