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Title: 'The outside thing' : locating lesbian romance, 1903-1950
Author: Roche, Hannah Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 3615
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines the relationship between romance and ‘the outside’ in the works and lives of three modern lesbian writers: Gertrude Stein, Radclyffe Hall, and Djuna Barnes. I consider romance – in terms of both literary genre and the articulation of amatory attachments and desire – as a heterosexual space or plot upon which lesbian novelists have wilfully set up camp. The locating of lesbian romance in my title refers to romance as space, to the theoretical and political positioning of lesbian writing, and to the detection of lesbian themes in outwardly heterosexual novels. ‘The Outside Thing’ is taken from Stein’s meditation on romance (‘An American and France’, 1936), which, I argue, marries ‘outside’ (or expatriate) geography to ‘outside’ sexuality. ‘The Outside Thing’ might also define my methodology, as I consider alternative readings of canonical texts and address the significance of works on the peripheries. The thesis is presented in three parts: I. GERTRUDE STEIN Chapter 1 defines romance in Stein’s terms, reading Q.E.D. as a prototype lesbian romance. Chapter 2 penetrates Stein and Toklas’ domestic and romantic arrangement, examining Toklas (and lesbian love) as an ‘outside thing’ in relation to Stein’s work. II. RADCLYFFE HALL Chapter 3 challenges the popular view of The Well of Loneliness as an ‘ordinary [romance] novel’, going on to posit the ostensibly heterosexual Adam’s Breed as lesbian writing. Chapter 4 explores real-life romance in the affair between Hall and Evguenia Souline. III. DJUNA BARNES Chapter 5 positions Barnes in a new romantic and theoretical space, proposing a reading of her fiction and journalism as performative bisexual writing. Chapter 6 presents Nightwood as a bisexual romance. My project intervenes in ongoing discussions about the relationship between aesthetic obscurity and political radicalism, the middlebrow and the modernist, and the 'in' and the 'out'.
Supervisor: Prosser, Jay Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available