Victorian Hauntings: Spectrality, Gothic, the Uncanny and Literature

Victorian Hauntings: Spectrality, Gothic, the Uncanny and Literature

by Julian Wolfreys

Paperback(2001)

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Overview

Victorian Hauntings asks its reader to consider the following questions:

What does it mean to read or write with ghosts, or to suggest that acts of reading or writing are haunted— In what ways can authors in the nineteenth century be read so as to acknowledge the various phantom effects which return within their texts— In what ways do the traces of such " ghost writing " surface in the works of Dickens, Tennyson, Eliot and Hardy— How does the work of spectrality, revenance and the uncanny transform materially both the forms of the literary in the Victorian era and our reception of it today? Beginning with an expoloration of matters of haunting, the uncanny, the gothic and the spectral, Julian Wolfreys traces the ghostly resonances at work in Victorian writing and how such persistence addresses isues of memory and responsibility which haunt the work of reading.

'Taking the familiar genre of the Gothic as a point of departure and revisiting it through Derridean theory, Wolfreys' book, the first application of "hauntology" to the domain of Victorian Studies is a remarkable achievement. Wolfreys never reduces reading to instrumentality but remains alert to all the potentialities of the texts he reads with a great attention to their idiosyncrasies. Victorian Hauntings should bring a new tone to Victorian Studies, this clever book is quite perfect. - Jean Michel Rabate, Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania

'You'd have to be dead to know more about ghosts than Julian Wolfreys.' Martin McQuillan, University of Leeds

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780333922521
Publisher: Macmillan Education UK
Publication date: 12/07/2001
Edition description: 2001
Pages: 175
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.02(d)

About the Author

JULIAN WOLFREYS is Associate Professor in the Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville. He is general editor for the Transitions series and co -author of Victorian Gothic and Literary Theories.

Table of Contents

Preface: on Textual Haunting.- 'I wants to make your flesh creep': Dickens and the Comic-Gothic.- Tennyson's Faith: In Memoriam.- Phantom Optics: George Eliot's The Lifted Veil.- Little Dorrit's Land of Fragments.- 'The persistence of the unforeseen': The Mayor of Casterbridge.- Afterword: Prosopoeia or, Witnessing.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

'Taking the familiar genre of the Gothic as a point of departure and revisiting it through Derridean theory, Wolfreys' book, the first application of hauntology to the domain of Victorian Studies is a remarkable achievement. Wolfreys never reduces reading to instrumentality but remains alert to all the potentialities of the texts he reads with a great attention to their idiosyncrasies. Victorian Hauntings should bring a new tone to Victorian Studies, this clever book is quite perfect. - Jean Michel Rabate, Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania

'You'd have to be dead to know more about ghosts than Julian Wolfreys.' Martin McQuillan, University of Leeds

'...illumination of this unusual subject.' - Times Literary Supplement

'Victorian Hauntings addresses and creatively extends Derrida's recent writings on spectrality. Addressing the considerable existing scholarship on the Gothic, Wolfreys offers a tour de force reading. In each elegantly

reasoned chapter, Wolfreys achieves significant new readings of important

works while simultaneously elaborating an original and highly complex

overarching theoretical definition of spectrality. He does this with the clarity that is the trademark of his work.' - Donald Ault, Professor of Romantic Literary and Cultural Studies, University of Florida

'Julian Wolfreys' Victorian Hauntings could be called the finest book on Victorian Gothic, if it were not so much more as well. It is also a subtle

and highly provocative exploration of the uncanny, of our draw toward the

spectral, all that threatens and promises to engulf us.' - James R. Kincaid, Aerol Arnold Professor of English, University of Southern California

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