Wonder and the Rise of Fiction
This chapter defines wonder, sketches out how its operation shifts over the course of the eighteenth century, and indicates wonder’s role in the re-enchantment of the Enlightenment much discussed by critics, as well as in a cognitive state of “enchanted enlightenment” associated with reading fiction. The Introduction then introduces the textual strategies that, in engaging wonder, make pleasurable a prevailing historical mood of cognitive uncertainty. The Introduction concludes by describing the book’s aims, methods, and organization, and provides an overview of the book’s remaining chapters that indicate the relationship between the book’s historical trajectory and its attention to textual strategies that engage wonder.
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