Worrying A Literary and Cultural History

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 5/21/2015
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Worrying: A Literary and Cultural History suggests a unique approach to the inner life and its ordinary pains. Francis O'Gorman charts the emergence of our contemporary idea of worry in the Victorian era and its establishment, after the First World War, as a feature of modernity. For some writers between the Wars, worry was the “disease of the age.”

Worrying examines the everyday kind of worry-the fearful, non-pathological, and usually hidden questioning about uncertain futures. It shows worry to be a natural companion in a world where we try to live by reason and believe we have the right to choose, finding in the worrier a peculiarly contemporary sufferer whose mental life is not only exceptionally familiar, but also deeply strange.

Offering an intimately personal account of an all-too-common human experience, and of a word that slips in and out of ordinary conversation so often that it has become invisible in its familiarity, Worrying explores how the modern world has shaped our everyday anxieties.

Author Biography

Francis O'Gorman is Professor of Victorian Literature and Head of the School of English at the University of Leeds, UK. His publications include Blackwell's Critical Guide to the Victorian Novel (2002), Victorian Poetry: An Annotated Anthology (2004) and The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Culture (2010). He is also the editor of the Oxford World Classics editions of John Ruskin's Praeterita (2012) and, with Katherine Mullin, of Anthony Trollope's The Duke's Children (2011). He is a regular contributor to The Guardian and TLS.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Chapter 1: What is Worry?
Chapter 2: Worry and Belief
Chapter 3: Worry and Reason
Chapter 4: Reasoning about Worry

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