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Associationism and the Literary Imagination – From the Phantasmal Chaos - Edinburgh Scholarship Online
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Associationism and the Literary Imagination: From the Phantasmal Chaos

Cairns Craig


This book traces the influence of empirical philosophy and associationist psychology on theories of literary creativity and on the experience of reading literature. It runs from David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature in 1739 to the works of major literary critics of the twentieth century, such as I.A. Richards, W.K. Wimsatt, and Northrop Frye. The author explores the ways in which associationist conceptions of literature gave rise to some of the key transformations in British writing between the romantic and modernist periods. In particular, he analyses the ways in which authors' conceptions of ... More

Keywords: empirical philosophy, associationist psychology, literary creativity, David Hume, romantic period, modernist periods, William Wordsworth, W.B. Yeats

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780748609123
Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748609123.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Cairns Craig, author