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Victorian Scripts, Nostalgic Traces and Romance in Michèle Roberts’ Fiction

Year 2014, Volume 11, Issue 1, 101 - 112, 01.05.2014

Abstract

Recently, there has been a notably creative interest in the Victorian culture and literature, generating a wave of neo-Victorian novels within this cultural milieu or historical awareness. Through the term “neo-Victorian novel” we should refer to fiction which is “self-consciously engaged with the act of reinterpretation, rediscovery and revision concerning the Victorians.”1 Therefore, neo-Victorian fiction should be more than the fiction which turns its face to the nineteenth century. As Ann Heilmann asserts, “all fiction post-1901 that happen to have a Victorian setting or re-write a Victorian text or a Victorian character do not have to be neo-Victorian.”2 As an intellectual and cultural mode, neo-Victorian represents a wide range of experimentation in genre formations and narratological traditions. Though the neo-Victorian novelist seeks to reshape Victorian novel practice, some critics like Heilmann states that “in many cases, it seems that the neo-Victorian novelist cannot offer any other alternatives and thus the neo- Victorian marks a return to the classic form of the nineteenth-century novel in a way that, structurally at least, seems often to negate the experiments of the modernist movement”. This opens up the discussion of whether or not the postmodern reader wants more from the neo-Victorian writer and expects “narrative innovation, fragmentation, and the invention of the new forms” instead of traditional modes of the Victorian novel and its strategies. 

References

  • Boyd, Kelly and Rohan McWilliams (eds), The Victorian Studies Reader (London: Routledge, 2007). Cain, Ruth, “The Buried Madonna: Matricide, Maternal Power and the Novels of Michèle Roberts,” Women Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 42/4 (2013), pp.408-438. Gilmour, Robin, “Using the Victorians: The Victorian Age in Contemporary Fiction,” in Alice Jenkins and Juliet John (eds.), Rereading Victorian Fiction (New York: Palgrave, 2000), pp.189-200. AYL‹N AT‹LLA Hadley, Louisa, Neo-Victorian Fiction and Historical Narrative: The Victorians and Us (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). Heilmann, Ann and Mark Llewellyn, Neo-Victorianism: The Victorians in the Twenty-First Century, 1990-2000 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). Jenkins, Alice and Juliet John (eds.), Rereading Victorian Fiction (New York: Palgrave, 2000). Kaplan, Cora, Victoriana: Histories, Fictions, Criticism (New York: University of Columbia Press, 2007). King, Jeanette, The Victorian Woman Question in Contemporary Feminist Fiction (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). Newman, Jenny, “Interview with Michèle Roberts,” in Sharon Monteith, Jenny Newman and Pat Wheeler (eds), Contemporary British and Irish Fiction (New York: Arnold, 2004), pp.119-134. Parker, Emma, “Sex Changes: The Politics of Pleasure in the Novels of Michèle Roberts,” Literature Interpretation Theory, 17 (London: Routledge, 2006), pp.223-241. Parker, Emma, “Michèle Roberts and Romance,” Women: A Cultural Review, 19/1 (London: Routledge, 2008), pp.21-36. Roberts, Michèle, In the Red Kitchen (London: Minerva,1991). Roberts, Michèle, The Looking Glass (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2000). Roberts, Michèle, The Mistressclass (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2003). Roberts, Michèle, Reader, I Married Him (London: Little Brown, 2004). Rowland, Susan, “Women, Spiritualism and Depth Psychology in Michèle Roberts’s Victorian Novel,” in Alice Jenkins and Juliet John (eds.). Rereading Victorian Fiction (New York: Palgrave, 2000), pp.201-214.

Victorian Scripts, Nostalgic Traces and Romance in Michèle Roberts’ Fiction

Year 2014, Volume 11, Issue 1, 101 - 112, 01.05.2014

Abstract

Recently, there has been a notably creative interest in the Victorian culture and literature, generating a wave of neo-Victorian novels within this cultural milieu or historical awareness. Through the term “neo-Victorian novel” we should refer to fiction which is “self-consciously engaged with the act of reinterpretation, rediscovery and revision concerning the Victorians.”Therefore, neo-Victorian fiction should be more than the fiction which turns its face to the nineteenth century. As Ann Heilmann asserts, “all fiction post-1901 that happen to have a Victorian setting or re-write a Victorian text or a Victorian character do not have to be neo-Victorian.”As an intellectual and cultural mode, neo-Victorian represents a wide range of experimentation in genre formations and narratological traditions. Though the neo-Victorian novelist seeks to reshape Victorian novel practice, some critics like Heilmann states that “in many cases, it seems that the neo-Victorian novelist cannot offer any other alternatives and thus the neo- Victorian marks a return to the classic form of the nineteenth-century novel in a way that, structurally at least, seems often to negate the experiments of the modernist movement”. This opens up the discussion of whether or not the postmodern reader wants more from the neo-Victorian writer and expects “narrative innovation, fragmentation, and the invention of the new forms” instead of traditional modes of the Victorian novel and its strategies. 

References

  • Boyd, Kelly and Rohan McWilliams (eds), The Victorian Studies Reader (London: Routledge, 2007). Cain, Ruth, “The Buried Madonna: Matricide, Maternal Power and the Novels of Michèle Roberts,” Women Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 42/4 (2013), pp.408-438. Gilmour, Robin, “Using the Victorians: The Victorian Age in Contemporary Fiction,” in Alice Jenkins and Juliet John (eds.), Rereading Victorian Fiction (New York: Palgrave, 2000), pp.189-200. AYL‹N AT‹LLA Hadley, Louisa, Neo-Victorian Fiction and Historical Narrative: The Victorians and Us (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). Heilmann, Ann and Mark Llewellyn, Neo-Victorianism: The Victorians in the Twenty-First Century, 1990-2000 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). Jenkins, Alice and Juliet John (eds.), Rereading Victorian Fiction (New York: Palgrave, 2000). Kaplan, Cora, Victoriana: Histories, Fictions, Criticism (New York: University of Columbia Press, 2007). King, Jeanette, The Victorian Woman Question in Contemporary Feminist Fiction (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). Newman, Jenny, “Interview with Michèle Roberts,” in Sharon Monteith, Jenny Newman and Pat Wheeler (eds), Contemporary British and Irish Fiction (New York: Arnold, 2004), pp.119-134. Parker, Emma, “Sex Changes: The Politics of Pleasure in the Novels of Michèle Roberts,” Literature Interpretation Theory, 17 (London: Routledge, 2006), pp.223-241. Parker, Emma, “Michèle Roberts and Romance,” Women: A Cultural Review, 19/1 (London: Routledge, 2008), pp.21-36. Roberts, Michèle, In the Red Kitchen (London: Minerva,1991). Roberts, Michèle, The Looking Glass (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2000). Roberts, Michèle, The Mistressclass (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2003). Roberts, Michèle, Reader, I Married Him (London: Little Brown, 2004). Rowland, Susan, “Women, Spiritualism and Depth Psychology in Michèle Roberts’s Victorian Novel,” in Alice Jenkins and Juliet John (eds.). Rereading Victorian Fiction (New York: Palgrave, 2000), pp.201-214.

Details

Primary Language English
Journal Section Research Articles
Authors

Aylin ATİLLA This is me (Primary Author)
EGE UNIVERSITY
Türkiye

Publication Date May 1, 2014
Published in Issue Year 2014, Volume 11, Issue 1

Cite

APA Atilla, A. (2014). Victorian Scripts, Nostalgic Traces and Romance in Michèle Roberts’ Fiction . Cankaya University Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences , 11 (1) , 101-112 . Retrieved from https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/cankujhss/issue/44412/551938


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