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 Volume 17/1, includes forum "Narrative Selves"
 January 2019

 Volume 16/2, includes forum on Monika Fludernik's Towards a 'Natural' Narratology
 June 2018

 Volume 16/1 includes forum "Modernity and Mobility: Victorian Women Traveling"
 January 2018

 Volume 15/2
 June 2017

 Volume 15/1: includes forum "Audionarratology"
 January 2017

 Volume 14/2: includes forum "Modern Jewish Spaces"
 June 2016

 Volume 14/1: includes forum "Saul Bellow as a Novelist of Ideas"
 January 2016

 Volume 13/2: includes forum "Comics and the Canon"
 June 2015

 Volume 13/1: includes forum "TheGhetto as a Victorian Text"
 January 2015

 Volume 12/2: includes forum "The Novel and Theories of Love"
 June 2014

 Volume 12/1
 January 2014

 Volume 11/2: includes forum "Translating Philip Roth"
 June 2013

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 January 2013

 Volume 10/2: includes forum "Bildung and the State"
 June 2012

 Volume 10/1: includes forum "Fernando Pessoa and the Issue of Heteronymy
 January 2012

 Volume 9/2: Dickens: Uneasy Pleasures
 June 2011

 Volume 9/1
 January 2011

 Volume 8/2: British Women Writers
 June 2010

 Volume 8/1 includes forum "The Ethics of Temporality"
 January 2010

 Volume 7/2: Eyewitness Narratives
 June 2009

 Volume 7/1
 January 2009

 Volume 6/2: Narrative Knowing, Living, Telling
 June 2008

 Volume 6/1
 January 2008

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 June 2007

 Volume 5/1
 January 2007

 Volume 4/2: Narrative as a Way of Thinking
 June 2006

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 June 2004

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 January 2003

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Updated Up To 23/01/2018
Volume 12, Issue 2 (June 2014) : 331-354
“Passionate Reciprocity”
Love, Existentialism, and Bodily Knowledge in The French Lieutenant’s Woman
Naomi Rokotnitz
Rubric A: Literature and Science
Rubric B: Twentieth-Century Novel

Abstract

 

John Fowles’s novel presents romantic love as a force that strips away cant and propriety, revealing a self unmasked. If heeded, this unmasking can function as a catalyst for existential investigation, for it reveals the self to be not a stable pre-formed entity but, rather, a continually evolving creative project. At the same time, the novel tests the limits of conscious intervention in the governance of this project. While its narrator celebrates the advantages of having “existentialist philosophy at our disposal,” analysis of the novel suggests that Fowles finds philosophy inadequately equipped to tackle either the primary impetus of love or its impact. Instead, the novel articulates an understanding that anticipates very recent findings in cognitive science and neuropsychology. Current developments in the sciences provide retroactive support for Fowles’s intuitive claims and shed further light upon the novel’s implications regarding choice and decision-making in love.


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