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Ponder and believe : interpretive experiments in Victorian literary fantasies

Author: Allison Cooper Davis; NC Digital Online Collection of Knowledge and Scholarship (NCDOCKS)
Publisher: [Greensboro, N.C.] : [University of North Carolina at Greensboro], [2009]
Dissertation: Ph. D. University of North Carolina at Greensboro 2009
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : State or province government publication : eBook : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"This dissertation examines experimental Victorian fantasy novels in order to provide an alternate history for the Victorian era, one traditionally associated with the realist novel. Texts are discussed using fantasy theory, reader-response criticism, and rhetorical philosophy in order to demonstrate how literary belief influences the moral project of experimental Victorian novelists. First, a review of literature  Read more...
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Details

Named Person: Samuel Taylor Coleridge; George MacDonald; Sara Coleridge Coleridge; Jean Ingelow; Samuel Taylor Coleridge; Sara Coleridge Coleridge; Jean Ingelow; George MacDonald
Material Type: Thesis/dissertation, Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Allison Cooper Davis; NC Digital Online Collection of Knowledge and Scholarship (NCDOCKS)
OCLC Number: 611542771
Notes: Directed by Mary Ellis Gibson; submitted to the Dept. of English.
Title from PDF title page (viewed May 5, 2010).
Description: v, 218 pages : digital, PDF file
Details: Mode of access: World Wide Web.; System requirements: PC, World Wide Web browser, PDF reader.; Available online via NCDOCKS.
Responsibility: by Allison Cooper Davis.

Abstract:

"This dissertation examines experimental Victorian fantasy novels in order to provide an alternate history for the Victorian era, one traditionally associated with the realist novel. Texts are discussed using fantasy theory, reader-response criticism, and rhetorical philosophy in order to demonstrate how literary belief influences the moral project of experimental Victorian novelists. First, a review of literature introduces the reader to the major ideas and problems of fantasy texts. Then, Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is used to exemplify the relationship between the fantastic author and her reader. The first few chapters, then, explain the theory of reading fantasy that will be examined in the rest of the project. The following three chapters discuss the experimental nature of Sara Coleridge's Phantasmion: Prince of Palmland (1837); George MacDonald's Phantastes (1858); and Jean Ingelow's Mopsa, the Fairy (1869). The focus is on how these authors manipulated readers' expectations for a fairy tale in order to use the trope of childlike wonder as a reading strategy that would encourage interpretive inquiry about the unity of the fantastic and the material. The primary thesis is that these authors use theories about literary belief (derived from Romantic influences) to structure their texts and to guide readers in how to read experimental fantasy work. The dissertation concludes with a chapter that explains how critics could understand further the intersection of fantasy and realism during the nineteenth century and could begin to view them as part of a unified Victorian tradition rather than as incommensurable modes."--Abstract from author supplied metadata.

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