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Title: The intertextual quest(ion) : detection in neo-Victorian rewritings of Charles Dickens
Author: Wadoux, Charlotte
Awarding Body: University of Kent Universite´ Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis concerns a body of contemporary novels which all use Charles Dickens's works as hypotext while also featuring the Victorian author amongst their cast of characters. In these novels, the Inimitable is either presented as a detective, or as a criminal figure, or both. Drawing upon both Detective Fiction and Neo-Victorian Studies, the present work shows how the neo-Dickensian novel (and neo-Victorianism at large) may be thought of in terms of a detective mode, which provides a framework that enables a renegotiation of intertextuality. Neo-Victorian fiction is fascinated with the emergence of the city as the site of modernity, of a shattered, threatened identity. From the crowded streets the figure of the flâneur emerges first, soon to be followed by that of the detective. Neo-Dickensian novels exhume the Victorian, or rather Dickensian London, to immerse their readers in this re-constructed past. The study of the relation to space and place draws upon Yi-Fu Tuan's theory (1977) but also Franco Moretti's (1998), which enables to see that in novels from the Antipodes, the topographical plots of the nineteenth century are reversed. The texts under study not only invest the Dickensian city but Dickens himself through the use of biofiction. If historians and biographers may be thought of as detectives of a kind, then neo-Victorian writers engaging in biofiction are detectives who distort, play with and question the historical facts that they encounter thereby revealing uncanny but also alternative plots. Neo-Victorianism creates its own criticism as it goes and thus challenges, teases its critics who have no choice but to try and go through with these riddles.
Supervisor: Waters, Catherine ; Lanone, Catherine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: P Language and Literature