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Overview

self-reflexive

Subject: Literature

A term applied to literary works that openly reflect upon their own processes of artful composition. Such self‐referentiality is frequently found in modern works of fiction that repeatedly ...

Nietzsche, Friedrich

Nietzsche, Friedrich (1844–1900)   Reference library

Oxford Reader's Companion to George Eliot

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
507 words

...passive, automatic, reflexive, molecular, and moreover, profoundly stupid. (158) W. B. Yeats criticized George Eliot on very similar grounds before he himself came under Nietzsche's influence. Dinah Morris 's much-emphasized lack of self-consciousness, Romola's somnambulistic second flight from Florence, and even Dorothea Brooke 's awakening to a new life after her night of anguish after finding Ladisaw in compromising intimacy with Rosamond Lydgate might be cited as examples of the kind of forgetfulness, passivity, or reflexiveness Nietzsche seems to...

novel, 18th-century British

novel, 18th-century British   Reference library

Oxford Reader's Companion to Trollope

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
531 words

...the deployment of Sterne 's Tristram Shandy ( 1760–7 ) in Barchester Towers : Obadiah Slope's apparent descent from Sterne's Dr Slop ( BT IV) alerts the reader to the kind of novel Trollope is writing; Barchester Towers , like Tristram Shandy , is a self-reflexive jeu d'esprit which constantly revels in its own status as a novel, and which draws its readers' attention relentlessly to the conventions of novel-writing itself. lust as Mr Slope is a lineal descendant of Dr Slop , we are to infer, so Barchester Towers is a novelistic...

heroes and heroines of Trollope

heroes and heroines of Trollope   Reference library

Oxford Reader's Companion to Trollope

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
1,979 words

...ended, or with so full a concord, as this one. Infinite trouble has been taken not only in arranging these marriages but in joining like to like,—so that, if not happiness, at any rate sympathetic unhappiness, might be produced’ (LXIV). Trollope often adds this sort of self-reflexive play to explicit ridicule of his technical romantic leads, forcing us to look elsewhere for the hero. A wonderful example is in Barchester Towers , where the romantic centre is occupied by the silly Eleanor Bold , whose mindless devotion to her dead husband (whom the...

language and style of Trollope

language and style of Trollope   Reference library

Oxford Reader's Companion to Trollope

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
2,734 words

...People are there, of course, but they are defined by their talk. Talk becomes about the only objective correlative in Trollope . That is why the narrator, the best talker of all, is such an important character. And it is this narrator, often disruptive and deliciously self-reflexive, who best illustrates the artistry of Trollope 's disappearing style. Were the narrator less convincingly chummy, he would give the game away. As it is, his sharpest observations are so lightly couched that we do not notice the sting. Trollope 's narrators employ a language...

readership: literacy and the reading public

readership: literacy and the reading public   Reference library

Rosemarie C. Sultan

Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
2,011 words

...he can never read them) and dies. A great many of Dickens's plots hinge upon the reading of documents. On the other hand, it is interesting to consider that Dickens rarely represents a reader in his fiction: his rendering of English culture seems to have no place for the self-reflexive tableaux of the Micawbers (as it might be) settling down to hear Mr Micawber read out the latest Dickens instalment. Rosemarie C. Sultan Altick (1957). Flint, Kate , The Woman Reader 1837–1914 (1993). Ford (1965). Himmelfarb, Gertrude , The Idea of Poverty:...

Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life

Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life   Reference library

Oxford Reader's Companion to George Eliot

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
5,014 words

...); and even character may be simply a construct of the perceiving mind ( see characterization ). The comprehensiveness of Middlemarch , properly understood, involves not just the creation of an encompassing, richly detailed, various, and spacious fictional world, but also a self-reflexive awareness of the problems and processes of fictional creation itself. See also endings of novels . JMR Adam (1975). Barrett (1989). Beaty, Jerome , ‘Middlemarch’ From Notebook to Novel (1960). Beer (1986). Blake, Kathleen , ‘ Middlemarch and the Woman Question...

language

language   Reference library

Oxford Reader's Companion to Hardy

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
4,216 words

...Marty South in a truly characteristic utterance: ‘ “Then things don't fay with she any more than with we!” ’ ( W 5). The retention of reflexive pronouns where they are now generally omitted is an archaic feature surviving in dialect, thus contributing to the ‘Wessex’ character of Hardy's language: ‘Poor Abel, as he was called, had an inveterate habit of over-sleeping himself’ ( MC 15). In verse Hardy's retention of a reflexive pronoun may often be prosodic: ‘That one I loved vainly in nonage | Had ceased her to be’ (‘My Cicely’); ‘Let me sit me down amid them’...

science

science   Reference library

Oxford Reader's Companion to George Eliot

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
3,222 words

...circles round that little sun’ ( MM 27). Science furnishes a parable concerning the subjective basis of perception, but the implications, like the concentric circles of scratches, extend outwards to encompass Eliot's own methodology. Middlemarch inaugurates a more dynamic, self-reflexive methodology for George Eliot, grounded in the revelations of science ( see narration ; realism ). As narrator she is constantly shifting stance, aware of the changing interpretations to be created by changing perspectives. Taking his image from the beating heart, Lydgate...

Kent

Kent   Reference library

David Parker

Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
3,143 words

...paradise. Dickens became a commuter, travelling by train back and forth between London and Gad's Hill, sometimes daily, often at longer intervals. In his personal life and in his imaginative life he balanced London and Kent. His sensibility had changed. He abandoned his reflexive interest in little victims denied a country paradise, and began to look for the roots of evil and suffering in personal choice. In Great Expectations Pip is sinned against, but it is not this that makes him acquire ambitions that have to be unlearned, more like those of his...

‘Black Mate, The’

‘Black Mate, The’   Reference library

Oxford Reader’s Companion To Conrad

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
787 words

...by claiming that he fell on the stairs after being frightened by a ghost, an encounter that suddenly turned his hair white. Carabine also analyses the several ways in which Conrad probably reworked and complicated the story in 1908 with his addition of a more expansive and self-reflexive frame-narrative . Interestingly. Ford Madox Ford used the same hair-dye ‘trick’ in the middle episode of an obscure trilogy of detective stories entitled ‘Fathead’ published in The Tramp (March– June 1910 ), but possibly written also in January 1908 . See also Dale...

‘Falk: A Reminiscence’

‘Falk: A Reminiscence’   Reference library

Oxford Reader’s Companion To Conrad

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
967 words

...citizens like Hermann and his wife a settled one. The images of gastronomy pervading all aspects of the tale imply the presence of suppressed ordisguised hungers beneath even the most conventional forms of bourgeois life. Such images are also used to make a playfully self-reflexive joke upon the writer himself, since the story’s opening Thamesside frame also establishes a link between eating and the primitive urge to tell stories and make narratives. Although the young narrator-captain seems mainly important as an intermediary who serves the larger...

Nordau, Max

Nordau, Max (1849–1923)   Reference library

Oxford Reader’s Companion To Conrad

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
706 words

...source for character types in The Secret Agent , including the anarchist group as well as the ‘degenerate’ Stevie . Ray’s final conjecture that Nordau may also have provided Conrad with ‘a perspective on his subject’ (139) an encouraged a type of reflexive irony that allows for pity (and even self-pity) seems more tendentious. See also O’Hanlon, 48–52, and Griffiths’s chapter on ‘Nordau’s Degeneration and Lombroso’s Atavism in Heart of Darkness and “Falk”’...

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