Victoriana - Histories, Fictions, Criticism

Victoriana - Histories, Fictions, Criticism

4.37 (8 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A series of astute critical reflections on our enduring fascination with all things Victorian. In this book Cora Kaplan looks at the politics of 'Victoriana' from the 1970s to the present, a politics that emerges from the alternation between nostalgia and critique in fiction, film, biography and literary studies. She asks how Jane Eyre can still evoke tears and rage, as well as inspiring imitation and high art, and why Henry James has become fiction's favourite late Victorian character in the new millennium? 'Victoriana', the book argues, has developed a modern history of its own in which we can trace the shifting social and cultural concerns of the last few decades. Through the constant interrogation of 'history' in such innovative works as John Fowles's The French Lieutenant's Woman, A.S. Byatt's Possession, David Lodge's Nice Work, Peter Ackroyd's Dickens, Jane Campion's The Piano, Colm Toibin's The Master, Sarah Waters's Fingersmith, Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty and Julian Barnes's Arthur and George, 'Victoriana' maps out a very particular postmodern temporality. Features * Uses the Victorian as a touchstone for late 20th and early 21st century writers helping readers to understand the changing meaning of Victorian literature and culture across time. * Explores different genres of Victoriana showing the differences and convergences in the ways in which criticism, biography, fiction and film rewrite the Victorian. * Analyses the pleasures and politics of reading or viewing the recycling of the Victorian past highlighting the relationship between the act of reading and the social and political elements of the texts. * Focuses on work by well-known writers, critics, filmmakers and artists such as A S Byatt, David Lodge, ColmToibin and Sarah Waters in relationship to nineteenth-century authors such as Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens and Henry James.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 184 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 23mm | 294g
  • EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • 0748611460
  • 9780748611461
  • 2,170,473

Review quote

With her characteristic verve, honesty, and insight, Cora Kaplan shakes out simple nostalgia and received ideas through fresh, utterly absorbing and entertaining readings of authors, artists and film-makers. Kaplan listens in to the past for its present resonances, and her Victorian voices sound vigorous, very close, and vividly engaged with the vexed questions of today - exclusion, maleness, beauty, and female sexual expression. -- Marina Warner, novelist and critic, Professor of Literature at the University of Essex Victoriana is a thrilling and searching book, exploring our contemporary fascination with the 'bulging archive' of recycled Victorian material, and the contradictory sets of feelings, including Kaplan's own, that drive this compulsion. In her hands "Victoriana" becomes a new analytic category investigated with subtle theoretical insight and deep imaginative integrity, wit and passion. -- Isobel Armstrong FBA, Birkbeck, University of London [An] incisive, lively collection of essays. Times Literary Supplement With her characteristic verve, honesty, and insight, Cora Kaplan shakes out simple nostalgia and received ideas through fresh, utterly absorbing and entertaining readings of authors, artists and film-makers. Kaplan listens in to the past for its present resonances, and her Victorian voices sound vigorous, very close, and vividly engaged with the vexed questions of today - exclusion, maleness, beauty, and female sexual expression. Victoriana is a thrilling and searching book, exploring our contemporary fascination with the 'bulging archive' of recycled Victorian material, and the contradictory sets of feelings, including Kaplan's own, that drive this compulsion. In her hands "Victoriana" becomes a new analytic category investigated with subtle theoretical insight and deep imaginative integrity, wit and passion. [An] incisive, lively collection of essays.show more

Table of contents

Contents List of Figures Acknowledgements Introduction 1. Heroines, Hysteria and History: Jane Eyre and her Critics 2. Dinah Craik's 'modern novel': Olive 3. Biographilia I History, Theory, Masculinity: The Biographer's Tale II Secrets and Lies - The Psychopathologies of Biography: Life of Johnson III Literary Biography - Genius in Genre Trouble: Dickens IV Biofiction - The Novel Lives of Henry James: The Master, Author!, Author!, The Line of Beauty 4. Historical Fictions - Pastiche, Politics and Pleasure:show more

About Cora Kaplan

Cora Kaplan is Emerita Professor of English, University of Southampton, and Visiting Professor of English at Queen Mary, University of London. Her work includes Sea Changes: Essays in Culture and Feminism and Genders (with David Glover).show more

Rating details

8 ratings
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3 12% (1)
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