In the Company of Strangers: Family and Narrative in Dickens, Conan Doyle, Joyce, and Proust ePub (Adobe DRM) download by Barry McCrea

In the Company of Strangers: Family and Narrative in Dickens, Conan Doyle, Joyce, and Proust

Columbia University Press
Publication date: June 2011
ISBN: 9780231527330
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)

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In the Company of Strangers shows how a change in the idea of family and its narrative role was central to the modernist reinvention of the novel. While plots of marriage and long-lost blood kin were the mainstay of the Victorian novel, Barry McCrea argues that queer countercurrents within these family plots set the stage for the radical narrative experiments of James Joyce and Marcel Proust.Tracing a lineage from the sexually ambiguous criminal predators of classic nineteenth-century literature, such as Charles Dickens's Fagin or Honoré Balzac's Vautrin, through to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and the adoptive "fathers" of the modernist novel, Joyce's Leopold Bloom and Proust's Charles Swann, McCrea demonstrates how bonds generated by chance encounters between strangers took over the role of organizing narrative time and novelistic relationships, a task that was once the preserve of the genealogical family. He reveals this new model of kinship to be fundamental to modernist structure and style. In the Company of Strangers subtly rewrites the history of the modern novel, suggesting that it is both queerer and more continuous than either the modernists or their critics would have us believe.
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