Download PDF by Clyde De L. Ryals: A World of Possibilities: Romantic Irony in Victorian

By Clyde De L. Ryals

ISBN-10: 0814205224

ISBN-13: 9780814205228

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We are not told the answers, and consequently we shall never be sure what they are; at best we can have only a kind of moral intuition about them. We are not provided with answers because, it turns out, the author, for all his vaunted omniscience, does not have them. "15 In quest of the truth about the events in the story his narrator goes to extraordinary lengths. He interrogates Miss Pinkerton's servants about incidents at the school, talks with Dobbin about George and Amelia's wedding. 46 Vanity Fair: Transcendental Buffoonery asks Dr.

This is what, in their linguistic association, the author and reader together seek. At first the most they can hope for is a near approach to the right word: "any approximation to the right Name has value. Thereafter, as their fraternal union is more fully realized, they hit upon the mot juste: "the Thing is then ours, and can be dealt with1' (4:204). This is not, of course, to say the perfect word can ever be dis­ 24 Carlyle's The French Revolution covered, since the identity of signifier and signified is always proximate at best.

In effect "The Diamond Necklace" is akin to the commedia dell'arte, presided over by a comedian who makes sport of himself, his reader, and his work. " The result was "not quite so unsuccessful as one could have expected" (CL 7:57). 10 To achieve his drama he realized that he would have to enlist the aid of his reader. As early as 1828 he had theorized about the role of the reader, who must be "ever conscious of his own active coop­ eration" (26:149); and in "The Diamond Necklace" he had insist­ ed on the reader's partnership with the author, the writer supply­ ing what "true historical research would yield" and the reader bringing "a kindred openness, a kindred spirit of endeavour" (28:330).

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A World of Possibilities: Romantic Irony in Victorian Literature by Clyde De L. Ryals


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