Jolene Zigarovich: Edwin Drood: The Preeminent Missing Body

Отправлено 3 окт. 2017 г., 05:13 пользователем Sven Karsten   [ обновлено 3 окт. 2017 г., 05:13 ]

This study of missing bodies in Victorian fiction commenced with the enigmatic fate of M. Paul Emanuel in Charlotte Bronte's Villette. Perpetually shipwrecked, M. Paul is purposefully suspended in the narrative. Originally planning to have her hero killed off, Bronte appeased her father's desire for the heroine's potentially happy ending by producing a plot "puzzle" that all readers must attempt to solve for themselves: is M. Paul dead or does he return to Lucy Snowe? Writing Death and Absence demonstrates that the desire for return, for resurrection, is embedded in Victorian fiction. The fact that death is not always final in literature, and that readers can participate in resurrecting a character from mortal oblivion, is innately satisfying. We can thereby understand Rev. Bronte's displeasure with Villette's original ending. As this study has shown, missing bodies, fictional autobiographies, and the textually dead or missing all demand some form of obituary or embodiment. It is appropriate, then, that Writing Death and Absence concludes with a discussion of another novel that dramatizes an eternally "missing" character.

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