by Ryan Carroll
DOECL Professor Jane Thrailkill released last November her new academic monograph, Philosophical Siblings: Varieties of Playful Experience in Alice, William, and Henry James.
The book takes as its subject Alice, Henry, and William James, three of the most important intellectual figures of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, studying their diverse writing to find their collective interest in studying how human beings make sense of the world and can know each other’s minds.
Dr. Thrailkill puts particular focus on the playfulness that threads through the James siblings’ writings, including the duck/rabbit optical illusion, the magic lantern, the spinning top and more. As she writes, she examines the way that “[w]ith childlike humor, the siblings’ intellectual playfulness is both message and medium, manifested in an expressive style that exploits incongruity, delights in absurdities, and sometimes, teasingly, inflicts the sting of critique.”
Click here to read the introduction to Philosophical Siblings.
Congratulations, Dr. Thrailkill!