Associationism and the Literary Imagination traces the influence of empirical philosophy and associationist psychology on theories of literary creativity and on the experience of reading literature. It runs from David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature in 1739 to the works of major literary critics of the twentieth century, such as I.A. Richards, W.K. Wimsatt and Northrop Frye.
Introduction: A Chain of Associations
1 'Kant has not answered Hume': Hume, Coleridge and the Romantic Imagination
2 Signs of Mind and the Return of the Native: Wordsworth to Yeats
3 Strange Attractors and the Conversible World: Hume, Sterne, Dickens
4 The Mythic Method and the Foundations of Modern Literary Criticism
5 Chaos and Conversation: Pater, Joyce, Woolf
6 The Lyrical Epic and the Singularity of Literature