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Title: Transrealism as a discourse of social change in Victorian fiction
Author: Chettle, Christine Elisabeth
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis considers the use a range of writers in the early to mid-Victorian period have made of interplays between the fantastic and the mimetic modes in their texts. I respond to critical assessments of the role of fantasy writing within Victorian fiction, and develop new articulations both of this role and of the nature of fantastic-mimetic interplays. In doing so, I interrogate Stephen Prickett’s categorization of Victorian fantasy writing as an unconscious creative force and Rosemary Jackson’s detailing of ‘Victorian fantasy realism’ as an evocation of negative tensions within Victorian culture. I transpose Julia Kristeva’s theories of transformative poetic intertextuality into the context of intertextualities between pairings of a fantasy and a realist text by four different Victorian authors. Chapter One explores how uncanny textualites in Charlotte Brontë's juvenile novella, The Spell (1834), and her mature work Jane Eyre (1847) represent the fragmented nature of aesthetic identities in nineteenth-century artistic, religious and authorial contexts, and how this representation suggests ways of negotiating resolution. Chapter Two investigates the use of polyphonic textuality (combinations of fairy tale and ghost story motifs) in Nicholas Nickleby (1838-1839) and A Christmas Carol (1843) by Charles Dickens dramatizes the emotional complications of disability in terms of a wide spectrum of social exclusion. Chapter Three examines how astronomical imagery and cognitive dissonance represent educational reform in George Eliot's The Lifted Veil (1859) and Daniel Deronda (1876). Chapter Four traces the extended interrogation and transcendence of emotional deprivation in George Macdonald's Adela Cathcart, developed by a heteroglossic voice through the fairy tales 'The Light Princess', 'The Shadows' and 'The Giant's Heart' (all first published in 1864). I propose that these critical interrogations can best be understood through an adaptation of Damien Broderick’s theory of modern transrealism, adapted to the historical context of the Victorian period.
Supervisor: O’Gorman, F. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available