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Empathy and the Psychology of Literary Modernism$
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Meghan Marie Hammond

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748690985

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748690985.001.0001

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Dorothy Richardson’s Modernist Innovation

Dorothy Richardson’s Modernist Innovation

(p.60) Chapter 2 Dorothy Richardson’s Modernist Innovation
Empathy and the Psychology of Literary Modernism

Meghan Marie Hammond

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter Two, “Dorothy Richardson’s Modernist Innovation,” reads Richardson’s fiction alongside the work of Robert Vischer and Theodor Lipps, the first major contributors to the theory of “Einfühlung,” an aesthetic process by which we “feel into” a perceived object. Miriam Henderson, the protagonist of Richardson’s thirteen-volume Pilgrimage (published serially starting in 1915), is notable for her fear and rejection of sympathy. Richardson’s stream-of-consciousness method encourages the reader to “feel into” Miriam’s mind through free indirect style and free direct thought. These methods, as refined by Richardson in the early twentieth century, constitute a specifically empathic turn in the literary history of fellow feeling. The chapter closes by examining how Miriam experiences the sensory world as a particularly permeable body, engaging her surroundings in a way that echoes the confused subjectivity of “Einfühlung.”

Keywords:   Dorothy Richardson, Vischer, Lipps, empathy, sympathy, free indirect style, stream of consciousness

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