University of Puget Sound
Gavin Budge introduces his study as an exploration of the “spectral aspects” of nineteenth-century literature: instances where visionary experiences collide with the latest medical theories about embodied perception. In so doing, his project is aligned with an expanding critical corpus situating Romanticism’s legacy of transcendence within the material body rather than in attempts to escape it. Instead of reducing visionary experiences to mere bodily epiphenomena, however, Budge argues for a “dual epistemological perspective” constitutive of Romantic poetics as such—a “natural supernaturalism” that situates perception in productive tension between bodily materiality and the immateriality of mind.
Budge explains his project’s unusual chronological scope from 1789 to 1852 as charting a legacy that connects Romantic interest in the “natural supernatural” to its successors in the Victorian era. He situates this legacy within the...more