Finding George Eliot in Prison: Reflections on its Moral Life

Title

Finding George Eliot in Prison: Reflections on its Moral Life

Description

In an article published in 1999 (Doing Prisons Research: Breaking the Silence), I wrote the following:
I was drawn to the reflections of George Eliot about realist art, because it seems there may be an important link between her argument that art has a moral task and the ‘art of research’. Is it possible to argue (as others have) that the art of research has and should have a moral task, and that articulating this moral task guides us in our struggle with our human selves in the research process? As Eliot put it, this task is ‘to enlarge the sympathies of others’; to understand, but also to promote understanding. She said: ‘the only effect I ardently long to produce by my writings, is that those who read them should be better able to imagine and to feel the pains and joys of those who differ from themselves in everything but the broad fact of being struggling, erring human creatures’. (Haight, The George Eliot Letters: III, 111. 5 July 1859)

Creator

Alison Liebling

Source

Liebling, Alison. "Finding George Eliot in Prison: Reflections on its Moral Life." George Eliot Review, vol. 51, 2020, pp. 80-88. George Eliot Review Online, https://GeorgeEliotReview.org

Publisher

George Eliot Review Online, https://GeorgeEliotReview.org

Date

2020

Rights

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Author

Alison Liebling

Document Viewer

Citation

Alison Liebling, “Finding George Eliot in Prison: Reflections on its Moral Life,” George Eliot Review Online, accessed November 28, 2020, https://georgeeliotreview.org/items/show/942.