Optative Movement and Drink in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

  • Adam Colman
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine book series (PLSM)


Beginning with a look at Stevenson’s consideration of Keats, Colman here argues that Stevenson developed a narrative approach to addictive consumption that overlapped with attitudes of earlier writers toward addiction as a condition of indolent engagement with possibility. Stevenson, however, wrote at a later stage of addiction discourse, and after writers such as Charles Dickens had created detective narratives built around addictive pursuit of the possible. Colman argues that Stevenson developed a narrative of indolent, optative movement according to the logic of addiction discourse of his age, according to which addiction was linked both to indolence and to exploratory, repetitive pursuit of some unattained possibility. Colman describes how a resulting, addictively hoped-for, optative, vicarious movement in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde occurs in moments anticipatory of cinema.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam Colman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA

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