This book is a study of the narrative techniques that developed for two very popular forms of fiction in the nineteenth century - ghost stories and detective stories - and the surprising similarities between them in the context of contemporary theories of vision and sight. Srdjan Smajic argues that to understand how writers represented ghost-seers and detectives, the views of contemporary scientists, philosophers, and spiritualists with which these writers engage have to be taken into account: these views raise questions such as whether seeing really is believing, how much of what we 'see' is actually only inferred, and whether there may be other (intuitive or spiritual) ways of seeing that enable us to perceive objects and beings inaccessible to the bodily senses. This book will make a real contribution to the understanding of Victorian science in culture, and of the ways in which literature draws on all kinds of kwledge.
Srdjan Smajic is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Furman.
Cambridge University Press
Date of Publication
Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature & Culture