The Self in the Cell

The Self in the Cell : Narrating the Victorian Prisoner

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Michel Foucault's writing about the Panopticon in Discipline and Punish has dominated discussions of the prison and the novel, and recent literary criticism draws heavily from Foucauldian ideas about surveillance to analyze metaphorical forms of confinement: policing, detection, and public scrutiny and censure. But real Victorian prisons and the novels that portray them have few similarities to the Panopticon. Sean Grass provides a necessary alternative to Foucault by tracing the cultural history of the Victorian prison, and pointing to the tangible relations between Victorian confinement and the narrative production of the self. The Self in the Cell examines the ways in which separate confinement prisons, with their demand for autobiographical production, helped to provide an impetus and a model that guided novelists' explorations of the private self in Victorian more

Product details

  • Paperback | 303 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 16.26mm | 557g
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1138981621
  • 9781138981621

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Abbreviations Introduction: Solitude, Surveillance, and the Art of the Novel Chapter 1: Narrating the Victorian Prisoner Chapter 2: Prisoners by Boz: Pickwick Papers and American Notes Chapter 3: Charles Reade, the Facts, and Deliberate Fictions Chapter 4: "How Not to Do It": Dickens, the Prison, and the Failure of Omniscience Chapter 5: The "Marks System": Australia and Narrative Wounding Chapter 6: The Self in the Cell: Villette, Armadale, and Victorian Self-Narration Conclusion: Narrative Power and Private Truth: Freud, Foucault, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood Works Citedshow more