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Poetics of PalliationRomantic Literary Therapy, 1790-1850$
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Birttany Pladek

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786942210

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786942210.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021



(p.1) Introduction
Poetics of Palliation

Brittany Pladek

Liverpool University Press

This introduction gives an overview of recent scholarship in Romanticism and the medical humanities. It argues that medical humanists are indebted to a Romantic belief that literature cures by making people whole again—what this book calls therapeutic holism. After critiquing therapeutic holism for its limiting assumptions about selfhood and literature’s powers, the introduction offers an alternative in palliative poetics, a model for literary therapy grounded in Romantic writers’ affinity to Georgian medical ethics. It shows how this focus on ethics reorients Romantic scholarship on literature and medicine, which has mostly restricted its definition of medicine to medical science. Finally, this introduction outlines the book’s six chapters: two introductory chapters on the intellectual history of therapeutic holism and four single-author illustrations of palliative poetics.

Keywords:   Romanticism, medical humanities, literature and medicine, poetry therapy, medical ethics, palliative care

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