This book is the first to discover and probe in depth memory phemena captured in literary works. Using literature as a laboratory for the workings of the mind, this comparative study of writers from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Octavio Paz uncovers valuable material for the classification of the memory process. Such classification includes memory in its relation to emotions, the senses, environmental associations, the unconscious mind, and language. Suzanne Nalbantian brings scientific objectivity to literary criticism and, at the same time, offers scientists fresh data from literature about the workings of human memory. She discerns new connections between the intuitive expression of memory by literary subjects and neuroscientific theories about the encoding, storage, and retrieval of memory. This daring interdisciplinary work involving literature, science, and art forges a new model for dialogue between the disciplines.
SUZANNE NALBANTIAN is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Long Island University. She received her PhD from Columbia University and is a permanent member of its Society of Fellows in the Humanities. A specialist in nineteenth and twentieth-century European literatures, she is the author of The Symbol of the Soul from Hoderlin to Yeats, Seeds of Decadence in the Late Nineteenth-Century Novel, and Aesthetic Autobiography: From Life to Art in Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and Anais Nin. She has also edited Anais Nin: Literary Perspectives.