Abstract

Abstract:

E. F. Benson's Mapp and Lucia novels are often read as nothing more than comedies of manners. Yet this interpretation risks missing their collective commitment to make-believe and the prioritizing of performance over being: Benson's characters move in the realm of appearances by which Hannah Arendt defines the political. Contending that the novels dwell on how and where politics merges with storytelling, this article examines the freedom with which these willfully frivolous characters reinvent the everyday and turn the facts of their existence into props in a communal game. Benson's characters, like his readers, play without concern for correction from outside.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 52-65
Launched on MUSE
2020-05-05
Open Access
No
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