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Title: Literary transmissions and the fate of a topic : the continental spa in post-1840 British, Russian and American writing
Author: Morgan, B. D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 1248
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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Around 1840 the Continental watering place took off as a destination of international appeal—and as a topic in an internationalizing print culture. My thesis, drawing on a broad range of theories of intertextuality, uses the case of the waters to model the farrago of transmissions, contacts and collisions that go into the making of a common-place in discourse. In particular I show how writing from multiple genres and national literatures helped establish the spa's identity as a deeply ambivalent locus of encounter—a venue that both tickled and deflated cosmopolitan ambition. Key points of reference include Dostoevskii'sThe Gambler, Edmund Yates's sensation novel Black Sheep (both 1867) and Henry James's spa fiction (‘Eugene Pickering’, Roderick Hudson and Confidence)—but also Punch and the Russian satirical journal The Alarm Clock (Budilk’nik), the travel writing of Joel Tyler Headley and Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, and Murray's Handbook for Travellers on the Continent. The elaboration of a topic is above all an exercise in collective (if not concerted) sign-making; and like any potent sign, I suggest with reference to temporally outlying works of resort fiction by Bruce Chatwin, Mikhail Tsypkin and W.G. Sebald, the nineteenth century's 'watering-place text' stubbornly refuses confinement to the age that produced it.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available