Taking its inspiration from cognitive narratology and particularly the work of Alan Palmer on the Victorian novel, this essay examines to what extent collective minds can be traced in early modern narratives. One of the typical sites of intermental thought is the representation of crowds. The essay discusses how collectivity and intermentality are textualized in depictions of riots. It first analyzes Sir Philip Sidney's The Old Arcadia (1580) as a case study of rebellion in early modern fiction. The results of the analysis are then compared with selected passages from Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles and their representation of crowds and revolts. In contrast to the focus on the festive crowd and the Bakhtinian carnivalesque prevalent in previous studies of early modern riots, the emphasis will be directed here to the emergence of a collective mind, how it is represented, and to what extent it allows an insight into counterhegemonic or subversive thought. The essay accordingly tries to marry the formal analysis of narratology with the New Historicist focus on the dialectics of discourse and power.
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Research Article| December 01 2014
Monika Fludernik; Collective Minds in Fact and Fiction: Intermental Thought and Group Consciousness in Early Modern Narrative. Poetics Today 1 December 2014; 35 (4): 689–730. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-2873539
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