Unchanging forms of identity in literary expression
The development of self-consciousness and the questioning of identity appear to be closely linked in literary history and theory. The postmodernist assumption that the self is only a heterogeneous cultural construct is unwarranted. Besides inner experience, there is an objective basis for the singularity of the self in biology, psychoanalysis and psychology. The exploration of the modes of consciousness and imagination mirrored in literary creation can bring evidence of structures and correlations unnoticed in personality studies. The presence and permanent nature of individual traits and their characteristic interrelations may be detected in the works of the English Metaphysical poets and John Milton.
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