Histories of Observation and the Psychological Novel Anton Reiser
This chapter examines how Karl Philipp Moritz invoked the psychological productivity of novelistic storytelling in publishing the “psychological novel” Anton Reiser (1785–1790) as part of his project of empirical psychology or Erfahrungsseelenkunde. This use of fictional narrative for the representation of dispassionate observation, and the choice of engaging a literary genre for the production of psychological knowledge assigned irreducible cognitive qualities to literature. Anton Reiser is not only another case of Moritz's extensive psychological project but also a paradigmatic case for the importance of literary form in the observation and recording of psychic phenomena. The institutional framework of the novel is not just the Magazin zur Erfahrungsseelenkunde, but literary discourse as an epistemological rather than aesthetic enterprise. Ultimately, Anton Reiser is a literary exercise in establishing a perspective from which self-observation becomes possible.
Keywords: Karl Philipp Moritz, novelistic storytelling, psychological novel, Anton Reiser, empirical psychology, fictional narrative, observation, literature, self-observation, psychological knowledge
Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.