Five Questions: Markus Iseli on Thomas De Quincey and the Cognitive Unconscious

By Matthew Sangster

Markus Iseli - Thomas De Quincey and the Cognitive Unconscious

Markus Iseli holds a PhD from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. He has recevied a Swiss National Science Foundation grant in support of his research; his work on the cognitive unconscious in the nineteenth-century context has also earned him the Henry-E.-Sigerist-Prize from the Swiss Society for the History of Medicine and Sciences. He has published journal articles on his work in European Romantic Review and Romanticism. His first monograph, Thomas De Quincey and the Cognitive Unconscious, which we discuss below, was published by Palgrave Macmillan last year as the first book in the new Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine series.

1) What first got you interested in Thomas De Quincey?

I discovered De Quincey only towards the end of my MA. A couple of his essays from the Reminscences were on my reading list for the final exam. He hadn’t been on any of the syllabi before, so I didn’t know much about him at the time, but the essays roused my interest. Eventually I stumbled over the Confessions. I began reading it during the preparations for my finals though it wasn’t on the list and …read more