The Reason of Imagination. The Blazing Worlds of Margaret Cavendish and Siri Hustvedt

Valeria Cammarata

Abstract


One of the peculiarities of 17th and 18th centuries literature is the link between knowledge and imagination, a relationship in which narration sometimes accompanies science, sometimes goes beyond it. The idea of imagination as a true means of knowledge is the subject of Margaret Cavendish’s best known work, The Blazing World (1666), where her alter ego is free to built a whole social and philosophical system based on corporality and subjectivity.

From the same conception of imagination starts Siri Hustvedt when in 2014 rewrites The Blazing World: the story of an artist who still in the twentieth century tries to face the overwhelming misogyny with the performance of the body and the theory of embodiment. The protagonist is really close to the Duchess of Newcastle, especially for the desire to overturn the artificial categories of the gender through a real masquerade. The voices of Cavendish, Hustvedt and of all their alter ego follow each other through documents, diary pages and pure narration, in which it is difficult to say what is fiction and what is truth

Keywords


Siri Hustvedt, Margaret Cavendish, experimental philosophy, neuroscience, masquerade.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/3760

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-25787

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