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Palgrave Macmillan

Epistolary Encounters in Neo-Victorian Fiction

Diaries and Letters

ISBN 9781137007155
Publication Date January 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Epistolary strategies play a central role in the contemporary imagination that rewrites Victorian culture. Neo-Victorian writers invoke conflicting viewpoints in diaries, letters, and other addressed accounts to creatively retrace the past in fragmentary, incomplete, and contradictory ways. Epistolary practices intensify neo-Victorian concerns with processes of fragmentation, as interrupted and riddling messages disrupt rather than illuminate communication between past and present. This book provides detailed analyses of writerly strategies that readdress and redeliver the Victorians to us with the promise of epistolary secrets. Yet in contrast to the nineteenth-century fiction that embeds documents to expose and explain secrets, embedded documents in neo-Victorian fiction contrive to deconstruct how investigatory reading and interpretation take place. Epistolary Encounters in Neo-Victorian Fiction: Diaries and Letters explores the complex writerly and readerly desires implicated in epistolary discoveries of 'hidden' Victorians and offers new insight into the creative synthesising of critical perspectives within the neo-Victorian novel.

Kym Brindle is Associate Lecturer in English Literature at Edge hill University, UK. She obtained her PhD from Lancaster University, UK for an AHRC funded study of neo-Victorian fiction and has published essays on the genre in edited collections and the Journal of Neo Victorian Studies.

List of Illustrations
1. Diary and Letter Strategies Past and Present
2. Riddles and Relics: Critical Correspondence in A.S. Byatt's Possession: A Romance and The Biographer's Tale
3. Spectral Diarists: Sarah Waters's Affinity and Melissa Pritchard's Selene of the Spirits
4. A Deviant Device: Diary Dissembling in Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace
5. Lewis Carroll and the Curious Theatre of Modernity: Epistolary Pursuit in Katie Roiphe's Still She Haunts Me
6. Dissident Diarists: Mick Jackson's The Underground Man and Michael Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White
Postscript: Treasures and Pleasures


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