You'd love to know... So would I.
Posted by Susanna on August 11, 1998 at 23:02:57:
In response to So what you are saying is....., written by Caroline on August 11, 1998 at 21:20:15
"That in Jane Austen's time, the idea that the unconscious mind existed
was quite a popular one, that she might have been playing around with this idea whilst writing P&P. That's an interesting thought."
I didn't say she was playing around with this idea in P&P, but I pointed to an authority to confirm that the idea was topical in her time.
"However, before we actually take it any further, I'd like to try and
clarify something.What did Jane Austen mean by 'unconscious'? Did she just mean that when Louisa Musgrove knocked herself out on the steps at Lyme , her body still functioned? Did she mean that some parts of the brain act upon the body when we are not aware of it ( as in dreaming, perhaps?).Or did she mean that the brain sometimes makes you do something without you realising that you are being told to do it, and without the conscious brain controlling it(as in an adrenalin rush?). I'd love to know."
If Jane were here, I'm sure she'd tell us. She uses the adverb 'unconsciously' twice: (1) Darcy "was as much awake to the novelty of attention in that quarter as Elizabeth herself could be, and unconsciously closed his book." (2) "I am sorry to have occasioned pain to any one. It has been most unconsciously done, however, and I hope will be of short duration." In both instances, she means without awareness. She doesn't use the word 'unconscious' and I doubt very much whether she had a more grandiose idea of the unconscious in mind other than the adverb, meaning 'without awareness'. But that would have to be borne out by research.
"Also, the word bandied about on the P&p board hasn't been 'unconscious'
but 'subconscious'. Are we to assume that they are one and the same thing, and from JA's point of view, either word will do?"
For all practical purposes, the words are synonymous to me, like 'slay' and 'kill'. The dictionary definitions are extremely similar. JA never uses the word "subconsciously." JA's pov? Unless she has explained herself somewhere, we can only guess what that would be.
- A book that might help... Caroline 14:07:23 8/12/98 (1)
- blurb on this from www.bibliofind.com Susanna 00:39:07 8/13/98 (0)
- Pop psychology in JA's day Linden 23:30:45 8/11/98 (0)
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