A Man of Many Parts: Gissing's Short Stories, Essays and Other Works

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Rodopi, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 288 pages
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This comprehensive study of George Gissing s short stories and related non-fiction is essential reading for students of nineteenth-century realism. For the first time readers will be able to follow the development which transformed Gissing s unremarkable early stories into the very individual tales that elevated his work to the vanguard of realistic short fiction. Gissing s American period is notable for its accumulation of themes that were repeatedly refined and adapted for his later work, causality emerging as the dominant voice. On his return to England, shifting political and philosophical beliefs expressed in his non-fiction had a vital impact on his second phase of short fiction, and the part played by realism in the author s short stories and his writings on Charles Dickens added further dimensions to his work as a whole. By the final phase of Gissing s remarkable development, it is evident that his interest in the concept of causality as the major force in his short work had been replaced by a more challenging preoccupation with the human psyche. This introduced philosophical, sociological and psychological dimensions to Gissing s work that established him in the field of short fiction as a leading exponent of late nineteenth-century realism"

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