From the pens of the contrivers : perspectives on fiction in the nineteenth-century novel

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Bromling, Laura Cappello
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2003
This thesis investigates the way that moral and aesthetic concerns about the relationship between fiction and reality are manifested in the work of particular novelists writing at different periods in the nineteenth century, Chapter One examines an early-century subgenre of the novel that features deluded female readers who fail to differentiate between fantasy and reality, and who consequently attempt to live their lives according to foolish precepts learned from novels. The second chapter deals with the realist aesthetic of W. M. Thackeray; focusing on the techniques by which his fiction marks its own relationship both to less realistic fiction and to reality itself. The final chapter discusses Oscar Wilde's critical stance that art is meaningful and intellectually satisfying, while reality and realism are aesthetically worthless: it then goes on the explore how these ideas play out in his novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
iv, 120 leaves ; 28 cm.
English fiction -- 19th century -- History and criticism , Realism in literature , Literature and society -- Great Britain , Aesthetics in literature , Thackeray, William Makepeace, 1811-1863 -- Aesthetics , Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900 Picture of Dorian Gray , Thackeray, William Makepeace, 1811-1863 -- Criticism and interpretation , Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900 -- Aesthetics , Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900 -- Criticism and interpretation , Dissertations, Academic