Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.653756
Title: The author on the stage : Fielding's self-awareness as author and problems of authority
Author: Lee, Siyeon
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1995
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Abstract:
This thesis advances a new perspective on Henry Fielding's self-awareness as author, as it appears in his writings of various genres from The Author's Farce to The Covent-Garden Journal. The principal argument is that Fielding's problematic self-awareness as author and idea of literary authority evolved through a series of ambivalent relationships with literary and political authorities of his age. At each stage of his career, Fielding found himself in tensioned relations to the Scriblerians, particularly Pope 'the great Poet', Robert Walpole 'the Great Man', and the great or 'High People' at large, including his own patrons. The 'Trade of Authoring' seemed at best a dubious alternative to attain financial (and moral) independence, and Fielding considered himself denied the aesthetic and moral authority to write serious satire by public readership, the new patrons of commercialised letters. Instead of the Fielding we are familiar with, that is, the authoritative Augustan satirist and master of comic fiction, Fielding as appears in the present thesis is essentially 'an author of a farce', by his own self-demeaning denomination, who sees in himself a 'humble servant' to either the great patrons or the paying audience, with only some Drawcansirian mock-authority at best. Chapter I offers analyses of The Author's Farce, a dramatisation of Fielding the novice playwright's ambivalence towards the great in letters and politics, and of his anti-Walpole plays in 1736-37, each in the format of a rehearsal by the 'Author', through whom Fielding converts his self-awareness as author without authority into an opposition formula to veto Walpole's political authority. Chapter II continues to discuss Fielding's peculiar infusion of his authorial concern into the anti-Walpole satire in The Champion and Jonathan Wild.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.653756  DOI: Not available
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