By M. Winkleman, Michael A. Winkelman
Investigations into how the mind truly works have ended in notable discoveries and those findings hold profound implications for examining literature. This research applies fresh breakthroughs from neuroscience and evolutionary psychology with the intention to deepen our realizing of John Donne's Songs and Sonnets.
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Additional resources for A Cognitive Approach to John Donne’s Songs and Sonnets
Their courtship was void of fondness and their lamentation of sorrow. Their wish was only to say what they hoped had been never said before. (CH, 218) His account of these writers at work, “ransacking” the world for original figures, sounds about right. Following suit some decades later, Leigh Hunt would call Donne “one of those over-metaphysical-headed men, who can find out connections between everything and anything”; Alexander Chalmers came across “allusions to almost every science in his poems, although unfortunately they only contribute to produce distorted images and wild conceits” (CH, 313, 292).
This equation seems archetypal, attested in the Old English ferhþ–loca (mind-prison) but undoubtedly far more ancient. ”30 This incipit provides a resonant word picture. His spatial metaphor turns the nebulous idea of “mind” into a more readily visualized royal realm. ” The lexicon is completely Anglo-Saxon in origin: like so much sturdy English verse, its power comes not from aureate euphuism but from unembellished diction that transmits a straightforward sentiment. (Mind derives from the ME mynd, rooted in the OE ʒemynd, which goes back to OTeut.
Most notably in “The Affective Fallacy,” Wimsatt and Beardsley sacrificed feeling and psychology for 38 A C O G NIT IVE AP P ROACH TO SONGS AND S ONNETS a detached impartiality. They went so far as to mock any attempt to marry science and criticism: The systematic affective critic[’s] . . search for evidence will lead him into the dreary and antiseptic laboratory, to testing with Fechner the effects of triangles and rectangles, to inquiring what kinds of colors are suggested by a line of Keats, or to measuring the motor discharges attendant upon reading it.
A Cognitive Approach to John Donne’s Songs and Sonnets by M. Winkleman, Michael A. Winkelman