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About this product
- DescriptionThere emerged, during the latter half of the eighteenth century, a reflexive relationship between shifting codes of legal evidence in British courtrooms and the growing fascination throughout Europe with the primitive Scottish Highlands. New methods for determining evidential truth, linked with the growing prominence of lawyers and a formalized division of labor between witnesses and jurors, combined to devalue the authority of witness testimony, magnifying the rupture between experience and kwledge. Juries w prounced verdicts based t upon the certainty of direct experience but rather upon abstractions of probability or reasonable likelihood. Yet even as these changes were occurring, the Scottish Highlands and Hebridean Islands were attracting increased attention as a region where witness experience in sublime and communal forms had managed to trump enlightened progress and the probabilistic, abstract, and mediated mentality on which the Enlightenment was predicated. There, in a remote corner of Britain, natives and tourists beheld things that surpassed enlightened understanding; experience was becoming all the more alluring to the extent that it signified something other than kwledge. Matthew Wickman examines this uncanny return of experiential authority at the very moment of its supposed decline and traces the alluring improbability of experience into our own time. Thematic in its focus and cross-disciplinary in its approach, The Ruins of Experience situates the literary next to the nliterary, the old beside the new. Wickman looks to poems, vels, philosophical texts, travel narratives, contemporary theory, and evidential treatises and trial narratives to suggest an alternative historical view of the paradoxical tensions of the Enlightenment and Romantic eras.
- Author BiographyMatthew Wickman teaches English at Brigham Young University.
- Author(s)Matthew Wickman
- PublisherUniversity of Pennsylvania Press
- Date of Publication21/12/2006
- SubjectLiterary Criticism
- Place of PublicationPennsylvania
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Pennsylvania Press
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight553 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine19 mm
- Format DetailsWith printed dust jacket
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