Book review: Paper Minds: Literature and the Ecology of Consciousness. Edited by Jonathan Kramnick

Research output: Journal PublicationsReview article

Abstract

Paper Minds: Literature and the Ecology of Consciousness. Edited by Jonathan Kramnick. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2018. ISBN 9780226573014. Hb. 224 pp. $75.

Jonathan Kramnick’s Paper Minds meditates on how literary forms give shape to experience and what they tell us about our ‘transaction’ (p. 5) with lived environments. These connected essays defending literary value and method are unapologetic close readings of literature’s trans-historical affinities and elegant take-downs of interdisciplinarity for its own sake. They model how embodied perception, the written line, and the physical world intersect. Kramnick uses the term ‘ecology’ to indicate this interchange between mind and matter. He draws on psychology, philosophy, and cognitive and literary studies to broach thinking and writing as active ‘skilled coping’ (p. 12) and to stress that singular definitions of form and consciousness are insufficient. Paper Minds reminds us that openness to uncertainty is integral to insightful scholarship.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnglish
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Mar 2020

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