The Infection of Thomas De Quincey: A Psychopathology of Imperialism. John BARRELL.

The Infection of Thomas De Quincey: A Psychopathology of Imperialism.

New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1991. First Edition. Hardcover. Large octavo. xii + 236pp. Black cloth lettered in silver on spine. B/w illustrations. Bibliography & index. Although best known as the author of "Confessions of an English Opium Eater" Thomas De Quincey, was a prolific journalist and and author, whose other works reveal him as a staunch propagandist for the British Empire, with a deep fear of the orient and an abiding racial paranoia. "This remarkable book, which is an account of De Quincey’s fears of all things oriental, is also an extraordinary analysis of the psychopathology of mid-Victorian imperialist culture." As the publishers further note: "John Barrell paints a picture of De Quincey as a happy family man, apparently at ease with himself and with the rest of the world, but in fact harboring and expressing the most ferocious and brutal denunciation of Orientals of all kinds and dreaming of exacting from them a terrible retribution. Barrell shows that throughout De Quincey’s writings there is a repeated story of the murder or violation of a female victim—either within or outside De Quincey’s family—by an oriental criminal This story finds its way into almost everything he wrote: the various versions of his autobiography, his novels and short stories, his biographical and critical writings, his essays on politics, history, and science. Barrell attempts to understand this European terror of the East by an approach that is both historical and psychoanalytic. In particular, he explores the relation between childhood anxiety and imperial guilt in a body of writing in which the fear of violence within the family is imaged as a fear of the oriental, and the private and the public, the sexual and the imperial, the feminine and the exotic are endlessly intertwined." Spine ends slightly chafed, slight bruising to corners of boards. One small, circular largely illegible (library?) stamp on copyright page, no other marks of any sort. Still a tight clean VG copy in lightly rubbed VG + dust jacket. Item #28116
ISBN: 0300049323

Price: $45.00

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