Rae Greiner proposes that sympathy is integral to the form of the classic nineteenth-century realist novel. Following the philosophy of Adam Smith, Greiner argues that sympathy does more than foster emotional identification with others; it is a way of thinking along with them. By abstracting emotions, feelings turn into detached figures of speech that may be shared. Sympathy in this way produces realism; it is the imaginative process through which the real is substantiated.
In Sympathetic Realism in Nineteenth-Century British Fiction Greiner shows how this imaginative process of sympathy is written into three novelistic techniques regularly associated with nineteenth-century fiction: metonymy, free indirect discourse, and realist characterization. She explores the work of sentimentalist philosophers David Hume, Adam Smith, and Jeremy Bentham and realist novelists Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Joseph Conrad, and Henry James.
Rae Greiner is an assistant professor of English at Indiana University and is coeditor of the journal Victorian Studies.
AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Thinking of Me Thinking of You: Sympathetic Realism1. Going Along with Others: Adam Smith and the RealistsPart 1: Smith's Sympathetic ProtocolsPart 2: Sympathetic Form2. The Art of Knowing Your Own Nothingness: Bentham, Austen, and th eRealist CasePart 1: Sympathy and the Case for RealismPart 2: Persuasion and the Sympathetic Case3. Dickensian Sympathy: Translation in Proper PitchPart 1: Harmonizign in Other WordsPart 2: Form's Proper Pitch4. Not Getting to Know You: Sympathetic DetachmentPart 1: Sympathetic DetachmentPart 2: Groupthink in Conrad and JamesCoda: Sympathy versus Empathy: The Ends of Sympathy at Century's EndNotesBibliographyIndex