Victorian Women and Wayward Reading

Explains how Victorian women readers strategically identified with literature to defy stereotypes and inspire their action and creativity.

Author: Marisa Palacios Knox

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781108496162

Category: History

Page: 250

View: 536

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Explains how Victorian women readers strategically identified with literature to defy stereotypes and inspire their action and creativity.

Victorian Women and Wayward Reading

nature of this kind of identification.5 Wayward readers are “uncontrollable” by others, but they can control their own ... This book demonstrates how wayward reading in the Victorian period could and did unite women in imaginative ...

Author: Marisa Palacios Knox

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781108853477

Category: Literary Criticism

Page:

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In the nineteenth century, no assumption about female reading generated more ambivalence than the supposedly feminine facility for identifying with fictional characters. The belief that women were more impressionable than men inspired a continuous stream of anxious rhetoric about “female quixotes”: women who would imitate inappropriate characters or apply incongruous frames of reference from literature to their own lives. While the overt cultural discourse portrayed female literary identification as passive and delusional, Palacios Knox reveals increasing accounts of Victorian women wielding literary identification as a deliberate strategy. Wayward women readers challenged dominant assumptions about “feminine reading” and, by extension, femininity itself. Victorian Women and Wayward Reading contextualizes crises about female identification as reactions to decisive changes in the legal, political, educational, and professional status of women over the course of the nineteenth century: changes that wayward reading helped women first to imagine and then to enact.

Identification Crises

I contend that the sensation novels of Mary Elizabeth Braddon do not exploit the reader's "feminine" nerves, but rather facilitate morally conscious, elective identification.

Author: Marisa Knox

Publisher:

ISBN: OCLC:858269261

Category:

Page: 290

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In the Victorian period, no assumption about female reading generated more ambivalence and anxiety than the supposedly feminine facility for identifying with fictional characters and plots. Simultaneously, no assumption about women's reading seemed to be more axiomatic. Conservatives and radicals, feminists and anti-feminists, artists and scientists, and novelists and critics throughout the long nineteenth century believed implicitly in women's essential tendency to internalize textual perspectives to their detriment. My dissertation re-thinks the discourse of "crisis" over women's literary identification in opposition to increasing representation of what I call "wayward reading," in which women approached identification as a flexible capacity instead of an emotional compulsion. I argue that the constant anxiety expressed by Victorian writers about women's absorption in literature helped to reify irrational and involuntary identification as the feminine norm, even while accounts of women's elective reading response defied this narrative. This study analyzes and contextualizes three major types of deliberately wayward reading in the Victorian era, which challenge the premises of gendered identification that often obtain in criticism and pedagogy today. The first chapter explores the imaginative license granted to women readers, as opposed to women writers, to identify with male subjects. While such literary identification with men was believed to bolster women's marital and relational sympathies, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh depicts an artistic form of masculine identification that, unlike marriage, preserves the integrity of female subjectivity. The second chapter examines the multiple crises prompted by the sensation genre about the representation of female characters, which mirror contemporary concerns about the representation of women sought by the burgeoning women's suffrage movement. I contend that the sensation novels of Mary Elizabeth Braddon do not exploit the reader's "feminine" nerves, but rather facilitate morally conscious, elective identification. By the fin de siècle, a new crisis emerged over the possibility of women's under-identification with literature as a result of their increased access to higher education and professionalization. George Gissing's New Grub Street and The Odd Women, as well as the New Woman novels of Charlotte Riddell, Mary Cholmondeley, and George Paston, all engage with the concept of female literary detachment as a kind of morbid pathology: a trope that demonstrates how necessary emotional identification was and is for defining femininity. The concluding chapter of the dissertation applies these examples of wayward reading and the empirical research of recent cognitive poetics and psychology studies to pedagogy, in order to recuperate identification as a learning technology in the modern classroom. I argue that understanding these historical contexts of reading response provides students with awareness of the flexibility of their own interpretive skills--their own capacity for wayward identifications--as well as a new way of examining the representation of reading in nineteenth-century literature.

Symbolism

Victorian Women and Wayward Reading: Crises of Identification. ... two things already in its title: to sketch models of wayward, that is subversive, practices of reading among Victorian women, and link these to crises of identification.

Author: Florian Klaeger

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG

ISBN: 9783110756531

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 303

View: 244

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Special Focus: Law and Literature This special focus issue of Symbolism takes a look at the theoretical equation of law and literature and its inherent symbolic dimension. The authors all approach the subject from the perspective of literary and book studies, foregrounding literature’s potential to act as supplementary to a very wide variety of laws spread over historical, geographical, cultural and spatial grounds. The theoretical ground laid here thus posits both literature and law in the narrow sense. The articles gathered in this special issue analyse Anglophone literatures from the Renaissance to the present day and cover the three major genres, narrative, drama and poetry. The contributions address questions of the law’s psychoanalytic subconscious, copyright and censorship, literary negotiations of colonial and post-colonial territorial laws, the European ‘refugee debate’ and migration narratives, fictional debates on climate change, contemporary feminist drama and classic 19th-century legal narratives. This volume includes two insightful analyses of poetic texts with a special focus on the fact that poetry has often been neglected within the field of law and literature research. Special Focus editor: Franziska Quabeck, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany.

Victorian Women Writers and the Other Germany

The Political Lives of Victorian Animals: Liberal Creatures in Literature and Culture ANNA FEUERStEIN, ... Victorian Women and Wayward Reading: Crises of Identification MARISA pALACIOS kNOx, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 125.

Author: Linda Hughes

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781316512845

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 285

View: 891

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A vivid account of the alternative, emancipatory Germany that progressive British women writers discovered and wrote about, 1833-1910.

Vagrancy in the Victorian Age

Mimicry and Display in Victorian Literary Culture: Nature, Science and the Nineteenth-Century Imagination wILL AbbERLEy, University of Sussex 124. Victorian Women and Wayward Reading: Crises of Identification MARISA pALACIOS kNOx, ...

Author: Alistair Robinson

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781009022392

Category: Literary Criticism

Page:

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Vagrants were everywhere in Victorian culture. They wandered through novels and newspapers, photographs, poems and periodicals, oil paintings and illustrations. They appeared in a variety of forms in a variety of places: Gypsies and hawkers tramped the country, casual paupers and loafers lingered in the city, and vagabonds and beachcombers roved the colonial frontiers. Uncovering the rich Victorian taxonomy of nineteenth-century vagrancy for the first time, this interdisciplinary study examines how assumptions about class, gender, race and environment shaped a series of distinct vagrant types. At the same time it broaches new ground by demonstrating that rural and urban conceptions of vagrancy were repurposed in colonial contexts. Representational strategies circulated globally as well as locally, and were used to articulate shifting fantasies and anxieties about mobility, poverty and homelessness. These are traced through an extensive corpus of canonical, ephemeral and popular texts as well as a variety of visual forms.

Reimagining Dinosaurs in Late Victorian and Edwardian Literature

Plagiarizing the Victorian Novel Imitation, Parody, Aftertext adam abraham, Virginia Commonwealth University 119. ... Victorian Women and Wayward Reading Crises of Identification marisa palacios knox, University of Texas Rio Grande ...

Author: Richard Fallon

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781108834001

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 217

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Reimagining Dinosaurs argues that transatlantic popular literature was critical for transforming the dinosaur into a cultural icon between 1880 and 1920

Stylistic Virtue and Victorian Fiction

Victorian Women and Wayward Reading: Crises of Identification Marisa Palacios Knox, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 125. The Victorian Cult of Shakespeare: Bardology in the Nineteenth Century Charles LaPorte, University of ...

Author: Matthew Sussman

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781108967242

Category: Literary Criticism

Page:

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What is style, and why does it matter? This book answers these questions by recovering the concept of 'stylistic virtue,' once foundational to rhetoric and aesthetics but largely forgotten today. Stylistic virtues like 'ease' and 'grace' are distinguishing properties that help realize a text's essential character. First described by Aristotle, they were integral to the development of formalist methods and modern literary criticism. The first half of the book excavates the theory of stylistic virtue during its period of greatest ascendance, in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when belletristic rhetoric shaped how the art of literary style and 'the aesthetic' were understood. The second half offers new readings of Thackeray, Trollope, and Meredith to show how stylistic virtue changes our understanding of style in the novel and challenges conventional approaches to interpreting the ethics of art.

Colonial Law in India and the Victorian Imagination

... and the Commodification of Identity in Victorian Narrative SEAN GRASS Settler Colonialism in Victorian Literature PHILLIP STEER Mimicry and Display in Victorian Literary Culture wILL ABBERLEy Victorian Women and Wayward Reading ...

Author: Leila Neti

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781108837484

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 230

View: 473

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Examines the shared cultural genealogy of popular Victorian novels and judicial opinions of the Privy Council.

Virtual Play and the Victorian Novel

Victorian Women and Wayward Reading: Crises of Identification Marisa Palacios Knox, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 125. The Victorian Cult of Shakespeare: Bardology in the Nineteenth Century Charles LaPorte, University of ...

Author: Timothy Gao

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781108944892

Category: Literary Criticism

Page:

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Pondering the town he had invented in his novels, Anthony Trollope had 'so realised the place, and the people, and the facts' of Barset that 'the pavement of the city ways are familiar to my footsteps'. After his novels end, William Thackeray wonders where his characters now live, and misses their conversation. How can we understand the novel as a form of artificial reality? Timothy Gao proposes a history of virtual realities, stemming from the imaginary worlds created by novelists like Trollope, Thackeray, Charlotte Bronte, and Charles Dickens. Departing from established historical or didactic understandings of Victorian fiction, Virtual Play and the Victorian Novel recovers the period's fascination with imagined places, people, and facts. This text provides a short history of virtual experiences in literature, four studies of major novelists, and an innovative approach for scholars and students to interpret realist fictions and fictional realities from before the digital age. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.