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Pathological Performance in Charles Lamb's Prose Writing

蘭姆散文書寫中的病理表現

Abstracts


The English familiar essayist Charles Lamb's attachment to memories, triviality, and metropolitan London has long been regarded as a settled matter, but not until recently have the discussions about his disabilities received proper scholarly attention. In an effort to address Lamb's disabilities more holistically, this essay contributes to the Lamb scholarship through close analyses of his physical and psychological discomfort as presented in his literary works. Reading Lamb's writings about disabilities in the broader socio-medical context at the turn of the nineteenth century, however, suggests that Lamb's pathological performance of his non-normative embodiment under the persona of Elia allows him to better connect with the changing metropolis. This article persistently attends to Lamb's own paradox to approach and recognise his various disabilities. Lamb's pathological performance can be better understood and appreciated, as this article will elucidate and conclude, when his disabilities are better contained through prose writing.

Parallel abstracts


英國隨筆作家查爾士.蘭姆對於記憶、瑣事和倫敦大都會的依戀,早已是學界不爭的定論;但直到晚近,蘭姆的失能書寫才得到學術界的適當關注。為了更全面地處理蘭姆的失能書寫,本文透過仔細分析其作品中呈現的身心不適,希冀為蘭姆的學術研究做出貢獻。若將蘭姆的失能書寫放在十九世紀之交、更廣泛的社會醫學脈絡下閱讀之,可以注意到蘭姆巧妙運用「以籟雅」這個筆名,處理他對於失能所展現的矛盾,以及展現其對於各種失能樣態所書寫的不同面向。換言之,蘭姆的失能書寫,實則為作者在希冀與倫敦大都會產生聯繫時,以散文隨筆展現其「非正常化體現」的病理表現。本文正是希望透過重新檢視蘭姆如何利用散文處理其自身的失能議題,並使得其病理書寫能得到讀者更好的理解與欣賞。

References


Appignanesi, Lisa. “Bad.” Mad, Bad and Sad: Women and the Mind Doctors, W. W. Norton, 2009, pp. 13-49.
Birrell, Augustine. “Introduction.” Essays of Elia, J. M. Dent and Co., 1888, pp. ix-xxiii.
Burton, Robert. The Anatomy of Melancholy. Edited by Democritus Junior, www.gutenberg.org/files/10800/10800-h/10800-h.htm. Accessed 30 July 2021.
Cheyne, George. The English Malady. Strahan, 1733.
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. “This Lime-tree Bower my Prison.” Coleridge’s Poetry and Prose, edited by Nicholas Halmi et al. W. W. Norton, 2004, p. 136.

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