Thursday Lecture Series: Observation and Obfuscation

“To stop the clock of busy existence”: paralysis and temporal and spatial modes in Victorian Lit

Thursday, The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room

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