Reference : A. S. Byatt, Possession (1990)
Parts of books : Contribution to collective works
Arts & humanities : Literature
A. S. Byatt, Possession (1990)
Steveker, Lena mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Humanities (DHUM) >]
Handbook of the English Novel of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
Reinfandt, Christoph
de Gruyter
[en] A.S. Byatt ; Possession ; neo-Victorian fiction
[en] A. S. Byatt’s novel Possession (1990) revolves around questions of writing the past, more particularly the Victorian past, from the perspective of the late twentieth century. As outlined in the essay, Byatt’s novel stages various forms of possession, both material and immaterial, linking them to issues of identity and female autonomy as well as to epistemological and ethical notions of poetry and imagination. Possession is an ambivalent text in that it problematizes the ontological, epistemological and methodological problems of writing the past; at the same time, the novel asserts the desire to acquire knowledge of the past, exploring literary genres, poetry and imagination as various means of opening the past to the present. As a Neo-Victorian text, Possession re-evaluates perceived cliches about the Victorian age, rewriting it as an era of a benign humanism that counteracts late-twentieth-century doubts and insecurities.
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