Chapter

Monsters and trees: epistemelancholia in David Hume and Henry James

Andrew Bennett

in Ignorance

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780719074875
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702420 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719074875.003.0009
Monsters and trees: epistemelancholia in David Hume and Henry James

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This chapter studies representations of melancholy, specifically in the writings of David Hume and Henry James, and states that trees, which are figures of monstrous outgrowths, are usually represented as both analogues for, and causes of, melancholia. It then suggests that the pervasive literary discourse of melancholy is connected to ignorance and the discourses of agnoiology and scepticism, and also tries to establish the pervasiveness of the link between melancholy and the (figure of the) tree.

Keywords: melancholy; David Hume; Henry James; monstrous outgrowths; melancholia; literary discourse; agnoiology; scepticism; tree

Chapter.  11386 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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