Fiction, Intuition, and Creativity
Studies in Brontë, James, Woolf, and Lessing
Fiction, Intuition, and Creativity is a search for the origins of fiction and for an understanding of how these origins influence the finished work of art. It examines the connection between the creative process and fictional form by discussing how intuitive consciousness provides the environment in which creativity flourishes and how writers make use of intuitive creativity in their novels.
Looking first at how the link between intuition and creativity has been explored in philosophy, psychology, and aesthetics by thinkers such as Henri Bergson, William James, Carl Jung, and Benedetto Croce, the book proceeds to an extended discussion of what novelists reveal about the workings of their creative processes, focusing on the intuitive dimension of aesthetic activity. This includes the role of the unconscious and of emotion, the need for an incubation period before the novel emerges into consciousness, and the sense that characters inhabit an autonomous realm and frequently operate beyond the control of their authors.
The works of four novelists are discussed in depth. In the fiction of Charlotte Brontë, intuition functions as content; the intuitive consciousness of Jane Eyre and Lucy Snowe empowers them to know and to act in a world that would impede their ability to do both. Henry James's life-long fascination with his creative process and his understanding of its intuitive underpinnings lead to the development of his later style and his focus on consciousness. Virginia Woolf's career is analyzed as a steady progression toward her reshaping of the novel into an intuitive vehicle. In the fiction of Doris Lessing, intuition again appears as content as Lessing makes intuitive consciousness the basis of her psychic politics.
This unique work offers much for those interested in the structure and development of fiction, the subject of creativity and intuitive consciousness, or in the four authors analyzed at length in the text.
Angela Hague is Professor of English at Middle Tennessee State University. She is the author or editor of numerous works, including Teleparody: Predicting/Preventing the Television Discourse of the Future.
Praise for the book:
"This book will change the view of how these four authors— Brontë, James, Woolf, and Lessing—are read. . . . Hague's style is accessible and the readings of the novels provocative."— Annis Pratt, Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"An outstanding work . . . Hague's exploration of the connection between intuition and creativity addresses a neglected topic. Her command of philosophical contexts is assured and her readings of the novels are wonderfully illuminating."—Prof. Alistair M. Duckworth, University of Florida
"[A] groundbreaking study. Hague's approach leads to many fresh readings of the novels discussed. Highly recommended."—J.E. Steiner, Choice
Other Titles in LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Other Titles in Literature & literary studies