Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.651310
Title: 'The vision of a place I know' : mimesis, subjectivity and imagination in the places of Gissing's novels
Author: Hutcheon, Rebecca
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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Abstract:
This thesis examines place in the novels and writings of George Gissing (1857-1903). By challenging the hitherto largely reductive critical account of Gissing's places this thesis seeks out the intricacies and nuances of Gissing' s interaction with place via detailed attention to its descriptions in his work and an awareness of the complexities modem place theory has revealed. Since Gissing' s day, the critical response has, on the whole, viewed Gissing' s use of place as exclusively actual or biographical. This has often led to too narrow a focus on him as a writer who mapped and documented working-class, and lower middle-class, London. I challenge this perception by exploring how Gissing uses his characters' subjective reactions to space and place to explore various geographically or topographic ally rooted dichotomies, including, but not limited to, north versus south, town versus country, and agriculture versus industry. I show how Gissing demonstrates these contrasts as much through the characters' individual, subjective perceptions of place, stemming from their states of mind, as through descriptions of the objective reality and appearance of the places themselves. This exploration of Gissing's fictional presentation of contrasting places is complemented by an examination of his personal, changing view of place, as reflected in his travel writing, journals and letters. I also demonstrate how Gissing's writings emphasise the connections as well as the contrasts between places, as he (and his fictional characters) move between town and country, or city and suburb, or Britain and the Mediterranean. By examining how mimetic locations in Gissing are frequently imaged through a figurative lens, I show how the same places, and views of places, are sometimes criticised, sometimes mourned, and sometimes celebrated both in Gissing's fiction and his autobiographical writings, again challenging a simplified interpretation of his work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.651310  DOI: Not available
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