Edgar Huntly or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker: Or, Memoirs of a by Charles Brockden Brown

By Charles Brockden Brown

One of many first American Gothic novels, Edgar Huntly (1787) mirrors the social and political temperaments of the postrevolutionary United States. 

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Defarnil­ iarization, in this tradition, is the means by which we overcome appearances and arrive at a deeper understanding of reality. Proust seems in some ways to have the opposite end in view-to be trying to preserve the freshness of appearances against the intrusion of ideas, by presenting things "in the order of perception" and still uncontaminated by causal explanations. Tolstoyan defamiliarization can be exemplified by La Bruyere's account of the peasants; Proustian defamiliarization by Madame de Sevigne's letter about I9 the moonlight, written a few years earlier.

Proust did not see such experiments as confined to the domain of painting. Three novels and hundreds of pages after his surprising ref­ erence to "the Dostoevskyan side of Madame de Sevigne," Proust makes clear what he means. The narrator explains to Albertine that Madame de Sevigne, like Elstir, like Dostoevsky; instead of pre­ senting things in logical order, that is to say, by starting with the cause, shows us first the effect, the illusion which strikes us. This is how Dostoevsky presents his characters.

6 2. 7 As we have seen, Plato's approach was different. On one hand, he did not consistently associate the term "mythos" with a specific 29 category of discourse; on the other, he sought to distinguish what MYTH was true from what was false within the tales handed down by tra- Distance and Deceit dition (first of all, those told by the poets). It bears repeating here that Plato's target was not myth itself but myth insofar as it was the bearer of false statements. The texts of Plato that we have discussed so far, the second book of the Republic and the Phaedrus, were in all probability composed during more or less the same period (ea.

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