Gothic Reflections: Narrative Force in Nineteenth-Century Fiction

Overview

The Gothic has long been seen as offering a subversive challenge to the norms of realism. Locating both Gothic and mainstream Victorian fiction in a larger literary and cultural field, Peter K. Garrett argues that the oppositions usually posed between them are actually at work within both. He further shows how, by offering alternative versions of its stories, nineteenth-century Gothic fiction repeatedly reflects on narrative force, the power exerted by both writers and readers.Beginning with Poe's theory and ...
See more details below
This Hardcover is Not Available through BN.com
Sending request ...

Overview

The Gothic has long been seen as offering a subversive challenge to the norms of realism. Locating both Gothic and mainstream Victorian fiction in a larger literary and cultural field, Peter K. Garrett argues that the oppositions usually posed between them are actually at work within both. He further shows how, by offering alternative versions of its stories, nineteenth-century Gothic fiction repeatedly reflects on narrative force, the power exerted by both writers and readers.Beginning with Poe's theory and practice of the Gothic tale as an exercise (or fantasy) of authorial power, Garrett then reads earlier eighteenth-century and Romantic Gothic fiction for comparable reflexive implications. Throughout, he stresses the ways authors doubled both characters and narrative perspectives to raise issues of power and authority in the tension between central deviant figures and social norms. Garrett then shows how the great nineteenth-century monster stories Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula self-consciously link the extremity and isolation of their deviant figures with the social groups they confront. These narratives, he argues, move from a Romantic concern with individual creation and responsibility to a Victorian affirmation of social solidarity that also reveals its dependence on the binding force of exclusionary violence. The final section of the book extends its investigation of Gothic reflections on narrative force into the more realistic social and psychological fiction of Dickens, Eliot, and James.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Approaching literary gothicism with an emphasis on its reflexivity, Garrett offers interesting interpretations of old warhorse fictions by writers from Horace Walpole through Henry James. . . Overall, Garrett highlights the psychological plausibilities inherent in gothicism, which bear out Poe's dictum that terror emanates from the soul rather than from sleazy gimmicks to enthrall imperceptive readers. Summing Up: All collections supporting serious study of literary Gothicism, upper-division undergraduates and above."—Choice, May 2004

"Gothic Reflections demonstrates the interplay of Gothic and realistic elements from Horace Walpole's The Castle of Ontario (1764) to James's The Ambassadors. Everyone who studies nineteenth-century fiction as well as recent theories of narrative will find it helpful, at times provocative (forceful but not forced), and always engagin."—Patrick Brantlinger, Indiana University, Victorian Studies, Autumn 2004

"In a series of interlocked readings ranging from Horace Walpole through the romantics and Victorians to Henry James, Peter Garrett probes the tensions between narrative conviction and readerly seduction, private confession and social communication, gothic destabilization and realistic consolidation. Venturing in new and revealing ways well beyond Bakhtin, Garrett draws on formalism and narratology to critique the limits of both deconstructive and ideological allegories. All students of the meanings and shapes of nineteenth-century fiction will benefit from confronting this thoughtful and challenging book."—Marshall Brown, University of Washington

"Peter Garrett realizes that Gothic fiction has much to reveal about the plight of the isolated individual, but what seems most remarkable about Gothic Reflections is its highly original revelation of a range of ways in which Gothic opens out into the realm of the social and dialogic."—Harry Shaw, Cornell University

"Itself the fruit of long reflection, Gothic Reflections compresses a potent threefold agenda: it opens a new case for the importance of Edgar Allan Poe; it explores the three great monster stories contributed to modern mass culture by nineteenth-century literature; and it precisely defines a relation between Gothic and the canonical works of Dickens, Eliot, and James."—Jonathan Arac, Columbia University

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801441561
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2003
  • Series: 7/19/2004
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 1
The Force of a Frame
1 Poe and the Tale 33
2 Gothic Reflexivity from Walpole to Hogg 45
3 Poe and His Doubles 69
Monster Stories
4 Frankenstein 83
5 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 103
6 Dracula 123
The Language of Destiny
7 Dickens 141
8 Eliot 168
9 James 192
Conclusion 215
Index 225
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)