By K. Brindle
Neo-Victorian writers invoke conflicting viewpoints in diaries, letters, and so on. to creatively retrace the previous in fragmentary and contradictory methods. This booklet explores the advanced wants fascinated about epistolary discoveries of 'hidden' Victorians, supplying new perception into the inventive synthesising of severe inspiration in the neo-Victorian novel.
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Extra resources for Epistolary Encounters in Neo-Victorian Fiction: Diaries and Letters
However, reservations have been voiced. 16 In terms of epistolary forms and pastiche plurality, I propose that, despite advertising intertextual connections to ‘real’ Victorian writers, Byatt does not aspire to reproduce an authentic nineteenth century. Instead, she conspires with a postmodern spirit of play to disrupt documents, interpretations, and meanings by manipulating the many-layered cultural representations of the era accrued with critical and biographical interpretation. 17 Byatt wastes no time in ‘teasing’ readers by peopling her intertextual fiction with pastiche Victorians, recognisable as ‘real’ if decoded by informed readers who might flesh out characters with reference to attendant ‘structures’ of biographies and critical examinations.
Christabel’s studied epistolary reserve is, however, sifted with lightfilled metaphors that illuminate a prim picture of quiet studious existence. Gleaming and shimmering language sparkles within otherwise demure prose. Christabel verbally jousts with Ash, but takes care to signal the chinks in her armoured propriety. The letter gleams with ‘shining’, ‘glimmerings and glister’, ‘brilliance’, ‘silken’ (87), lush language that beckons Ash not to heed an illusory retreat, but to follow and respond to her luminosity.
S. 3 Her novel attempts to deliver this message by pitting documents and secrets against representative literary theorists. Letters and diaries navigate contentions between theory and writerly authority as Byatt harmonises seductive secrets and descriptive imagery to launch a counter-attack against prescriptive critical reading. ) promotion of fiction against critical theory and investigate if embedded epistolary forms are more suggestive of documentary evidence or ‘helpful lies’ for a postmodern project.