restricted access Austen's Later Subjects

This essay considers the issues of representation and literary subjectivity in Jane Austen's later novels, particularly Mansfield Park and Persuasion, and makes use of psychoanalytic texts to illuminate Austen's individual narrative strategies. Mansfield Park explores literary subjectivity above all in its spatial expression, and thus the heroine's identity appears articulated in the novel's prominent question "'But where is Fanny?'" Persuasion represents Austen's subtlest exploration of narrative temporality; Anne Elliot's prospective imagination reflects the temporal structures of narrative as recent theorists have described them. Our attention to the literary subject itself thus offers a key to Austen's explorations of the peculiar capacities of narrative art.