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Middlemarch Revisited: Changing Responses to George Eliot

Middlemarch Revisited: Changing Responses to George Eliot The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 59, No. 3, 1999 MIDDLEMARCH REVISITED: CHANGING RESPONSES TO GEORGE ELIOT Bernard J. Paris In Experiments in Life: George Eliot's Quest for Values (1965), I exam- ined George Eliot's ideas in relation to her time and her art in relation to her ideas. I argued that in her novels, which she called "experiments in life" (Haight, 1955, p. 216), Eliot explored the moral implications of sci- ence and positivistic philosophy in an effort to discover enduring truths that would ennoble human existence and replace the outmoded beliefs of the past. Because of her distrust of "shifting theory" and her reluctance to "adopt any formula which does not get itself clothed ... in some human figure and individual experience" (Haight, 1955, pp. 216-217), she felt that art was the only means she could confidently employ to verify and communicate her values. Her protagonists arrive, through a varied course of experience, at some version of the Religion of Humanity in which living for others, for something beyond the self, gives meaning and value to their lives. Experiments in Life was originally my doctoral dissertation, completed in 1959, and while writing it I subscribed to George http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The American Journal of Psychoanalysis Springer Journals

Middlemarch Revisited: Changing Responses to George Eliot

The American Journal of Psychoanalysis , Volume 59 (3) – Oct 16, 2004

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 by Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis
Subject
Psychology; Clinical Psychology; Psychotherapy; Psychoanalysis
ISSN
0002-9548
eISSN
1573-6741
DOI
10.1023/A:1021461409779
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 59, No. 3, 1999 MIDDLEMARCH REVISITED: CHANGING RESPONSES TO GEORGE ELIOT Bernard J. Paris In Experiments in Life: George Eliot's Quest for Values (1965), I exam- ined George Eliot's ideas in relation to her time and her art in relation to her ideas. I argued that in her novels, which she called "experiments in life" (Haight, 1955, p. 216), Eliot explored the moral implications of sci- ence and positivistic philosophy in an effort to discover enduring truths that would ennoble human existence and replace the outmoded beliefs of the past. Because of her distrust of "shifting theory" and her reluctance to "adopt any formula which does not get itself clothed ... in some human figure and individual experience" (Haight, 1955, pp. 216-217), she felt that art was the only means she could confidently employ to verify and communicate her values. Her protagonists arrive, through a varied course of experience, at some version of the Religion of Humanity in which living for others, for something beyond the self, gives meaning and value to their lives. Experiments in Life was originally my doctoral dissertation, completed in 1959, and while writing it I subscribed to George

Journal

The American Journal of PsychoanalysisSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 16, 2004

References