Elizabeth Bowen: Theory, Thought and Things

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Jessica Gildersleeve, Patricia Juliana Smith
Edinburgh University Press, 2019 - LITERARY CRITICISM - 216 pages

Explores Elizabeth Bowen's significant contribution to twentieth-century literary theory

  • Provides new avenues for research in Bowen studies in ways that are concerned primarily with Bowen's perception of writing and narrative
  • Moves away from perceptions of Bowen's writing tied to existing ideological categories, such as viewing her work through a lens of psychoanalysis, modernism, or Irish or British history and which emphasise Bowen's innovation not as central to our understanding of the changes happening in twentieth-century literature and history, but as instead a point of 'difficulty'
  • Recognises Bowen's innovation, experimentation and her impact on her contemporaries and literary descendants

From experiments in language and identity to innovations in the novel, the short story and life narratives, the contributors discuss the way in which Bowen's work straddles, informs and defies the existing definitions of modernist and postmodernist literature which dominate twentieth-century writing. The eleven chapters present new scholarship on Bowen's inventiveness and unique writing style and attachment to objects, covering topics such as queer adolescents, housekeeping, female fetishism, habit and new technologies such as the telephone.

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About the author (2019)

Jessica Gildersleeve is Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Southern Queensland.

Patricia Juliana Smith is Associate Professor of English at Hofstra University in New York.

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