Genealogy and Fiction in Hardy: Family Lineage and Narrative Lines

Overview

Tess O'Toole uncovers Hardy's career-long fascination with the points of intersection between genealogy and fiction and argues that this relationship fuels much of his writing. Hereditary patterns are the product of narrative compulsion; the circulation of the family story is necessary to reproduce the history it records. As well as analyzing Hardy's characteristic treatment of family history, this volume revises existing accounts of genealogical narrative, and in its conclusion considers the presence in other ...
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Overview

Tess O'Toole uncovers Hardy's career-long fascination with the points of intersection between genealogy and fiction and argues that this relationship fuels much of his writing. Hereditary patterns are the product of narrative compulsion; the circulation of the family story is necessary to reproduce the history it records. As well as analyzing Hardy's characteristic treatment of family history, this volume revises existing accounts of genealogical narrative, and in its conclusion considers the presence in other nineteenth- and twentieth-century novels of motifs foregrounded in Hardy's work.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Across most of Hardy's novels, as well as a number of short stories and narrative poems, O'Toole (English, Magill U., Montreal) draws connections between his investment in genealogical themes and his interest in the power of narrative. She argues that his texts illuminate key structures of genealogical narrative, revises existing critical accounts of the genre, and identities the practice of narrative jamming as a formal equivalent to the incest that so often appears in the family history novel. A version of one chapter has appeared previously. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312174620
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.67 (w) x 8.79 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Table of Contents

Note on Editions and Abbreviations
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Fictitious Families 17
'Buried genealogical facts': The Mayor of Casterbridge 19
The genealogical trace 24
Illegitimacy and fiction 32
Family frauds 40
2 Narrative Coercion 45
The machine in the narrative: The Well-Beloved 48
Naming and narrative 55
The impossibility of priority: A Pair of Blue Eyes 58
The exhaustion of narrative options: Jude the Obscure 65
Tess of the d'Urbervilles: The discomfort of existing in narrative 73
3 Gender and Genre: Women and the Family Script 93
Plotting gender 93
Models of triangulation 96
Sisters and mothers 107
Reinventions: The Hand of Ethelberta 115
4 Narrative Jamming in the Family Saga 125
Engendering narratives 125
Narrative jamming 130
Ghostly genealogies 134
The 'genealogical passion' 139
Narrative subversions 144
The problem of the ending 149
Epilogue 155
Notes 175
References 189
Index 193
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