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Title: Liminal entities : transition and the 'space between' in the short fiction of Katherine Mansfield, Dorothy Richardson, May Sinclair, and Virginia Woolf
Author: Drewery, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0001 3432 8395
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 2006
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The relationship between literary Modernism and the short story is a neglected area, particularly in terms of women's writing. Traditionally, critical interest in Virginia Woolf's novels and essays has tended to eclipse her short fiction, whilst the stories of Dorothy Richardson and May Sinclair are virtually absent from serious critical discussion. Only Katherine Mansfield has received due attention, though rarely in relation to her women contemporaries. Since the early 1990s, however, there has been a renaissance of interest in the Modernist short story. This draws attention to a recurring preoccupation in the genre: that of transgressing boundaries. A connection between the short story and liminality (deriving from the Latin word limen meaning boundary or threshold) has, however, rarely been explicitly made in literary criticism. This thesis redresses this critical neglect, exploring the literary, contextual and theoretical implications of the Modernist fascination with liminality through the experimental genre of the short story. Liminality is ambiguous and paradoxical, encapsulating a simultaneous capacity for liberation and restriction. This paradox forms the central focus of attention in this thesis, which explores how Mansfield, Richardson, Sinclair and Woolf use liminality to explore the shifting, fragmented identity of the Modernist subject. My chapters examine various liminal entities - the pilgrimage, war, the inner life, the `moment of being', mysticism, mortality and immortality - relating to the form, context or content of the Modernist short story. This discussion ultimately demonstrates that it is through the intrinsically liminal genre of the short story, more than any other form, that these four writers use the liminal trope to discard their Victorian heritage through experimental writing styles which offer a unique contribution to the development of literary Modernism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English