Turning In The Grave: Ambivalence, Queer Loss, And The Victorian Novel
"Turning in the Grave: Ambivalence, Queer Loss, and the Victorian Novel" details how nineteenth-century mourning culture complicated the development of the novel. I contend that Victorian mourning culture-characterized by the display of objects meant to signify both emotional states and social allegiances in response to the death of an individual-challenged authors' ability to maintain the narrative conventions of the marriage plot. In my reckoning, the marriage plot-for all its ability to organize narrative desires and fictional communities-only ever succeeds alongside the production of a set of queer losses, figured by parents who lose a child, widows and widowers, the heartbroken, and spinsters. Even as Victorian fiction played a role in the idealization of domestic life, figures of queer loss afforded authors an opportunity to adapt modes of plotting, narration, and literary feeling that wrestled against the marriage plot's end.
Queer Studies; Victorian Fiction; Mourning Culture
Villarejo, Amy; Shaw, Harry Edmund; Cohn, Elisha Jane
English Language and Literature
Ph. D., English Language and Literature
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis