From Author to Text: Re-reading George Eliot's Romola

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Caroline Levine, Mark W. Turner
Ashgate, 1998 - English fiction - 217 pages
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The claims of 'theory', both critical and cultural, have significantly broadened the possibilities for literary enquiry, focussing attention not simply on authorial experience, but on patterns in language and ideology, on the demands of genre and on the complexities of social context. From Author to Text shifts the critical emphasis from canonical author to her uncanonical text - from George Eliot to Romola - and so broadens the range of interpretive possibilities while bringing them into sharper focus.Eilot scholars have largely neglected the rich historical complexity of Romola. But it is a novel rich in political and textual issues, as this volume reveals. A variety of scholars have put their different critical models to work, and the results are fertile and suggestive: among the issues explored are the domestic politics of marriage, the relationship between narrative and epistemology, the materiality of the text, the novels relation to narratives of martyrdom and the gendering of space.Although this collection adds to the body of criticism devoted to Romola and to George Eliot's work more broadly, it also suggests that different critical aims and intentions are most intelligible when bought to bear on a single text. Such theoretical eclecticism, when concentrated on a common subject, necessarily opens out into an enlightening dialogue among critical and interpretive model.

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Rethinking the Text
Whose Text Is It Anyway?
The Texts of Romola

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