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Vl I discovered the sensibility most characteristic of the Victorian period during about the middle 50 years of the century, and then detected another shift toward the last quarter of the century, No doubt I was tempted to read into these comments support for recognizing the EFT period, from about I87O on, as something different from the Victorian period in essential ways. At MLA two fine papers were read at Discussion Group English 10 (Victorian Literature): "The Fourth Dimension of Victorianism," a paper by Jerome Buckley, both informative and a delight to listen to; and "Victorian Self-Consciousness," by Wendell Stacy Johnson. Mr, Buckley's central theme was time as a motif in Victorian culture, He noted, for examp'e, that the Victorians were more preoccupied with time than any writers since the 17th century (e.g. the clock in ADAM BEDE and DOMBEY, time in MARXHEIM, JUDE THE OBSCURE, MODERN LOVE, "City of Dreadful Night")„ Time, for the Victorians, was the great delusion "seducing man from realities", the Victorians lived in constant peril of change" and had a compulsion to discover stability, to find order, and thus evolved a passion for the past as a means of self-understanding, as a means of commenting on the present. Mr. Johnson used as his theme, in trying to describe one of the characteristics of Victorianism, the quality of self-consciousness as it was expressed between the I830's and 1880's, He recognized the coexistence of fascination with oneself and confusion about oneself. The Romantic asserted, "I am"; the Victorian questioned, "Who am I?" or "Am I?" While the Victorian questioned nervously, he assumed that there were truths, that one could find oneself; his was an earnest questioning. Toward the end of the Victorian period the questioning becomes more ironic and authors instead of finding themselves in existing truths, rather create themselves. [On the last point I might suggest that George Moore seems to have created himself in HAIL AND FAREWELL as well as in other autobiographical works and perh ps in some of the novels.] The Graduate English Club of Duke University sponsored an interesting literary meeting March 9-10, 1962, on Later Victorian Fiction. Included on the program were following: Robert Watson, "The 'Difficult' Novel, George Meredith, His ONE OF OUR CONQUERORS. Fig Leaves"; J. 0. Bailey, "THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE Under the Microscope," which in slightly altered form will appear in EFT; Lionel Stevenson, "Romantic Themes"; three papers on James; Merrill M. Skaggs, "The Problem of Point of View in VICTORY"; George Williams, "The Turn of the Tide in HEART OF DARKNESS"; Porter Williams, Jr., "Thé Matter of Conscience in Conrad's SECRET SHARER"; Maurice Beebe, "The Masks of Conrad." ANNOUNCEMENTS 1. Lloyd Fernando, Assistant Lecturer in English, University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, now on a Postgraduate Research Scholarship at Leeds University, is working oh a Ph, D0 Thesis concerned with the relation of criticism and the works of selected novelists in the period from I870 and 1900. 2. Pamela Rose, having completed an M. A. Thesis for London University on feminist novels of 188O-I895, now plans to write a doctoral thesis on feminist and suffrage novels from 1895 to I9I8. She will appreciate hearing of other works on the subject as well as about minor novelists who have treated the feminist or suffragist topics (moral, social, professional, or educational changes relating to women). Address: Pamela A. Rose, St. Petroc, Cadogan Road, Camborne, Cornwell, England. ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
p. vii
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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