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Title: Exploring literary impressionism : Conrad, Crane, James and Ford
Authors: Weavis, Daniel.
Award date: 2002
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: As a literary category, 'impressionism' has only recently begun to receive regular critical attention. Where impressionism is firmly enshrined in Art History, the term has often been thought redundant in literary criticism. Several scholars have attempted to define and defend impressionism as a literary phenomenon, and while the present study seeks also to bolster its status emphasising how it constitutes a crucial moment in the development of modern literature it also scrutinises the deeper implications of the aesthetic. It is, in addition, the first comprehensive exploration of the literary relationship between the fictional work of the four central exponents of literary impressionism in the English language: Joseph Conrad, Stephen Crane, Ford Madox Ford, and Henry James. Chapter One traces and summarises the aesthetic and cultural origins of literary impressionism. Chapter Two presents a working definition of impressionism, and considers the problems surrounding any such attempt. Chapter Three explores the unique and complex interaction between author, text and reader in impressionist fiction, and observes the potential contradictions involved. The moral and political capacity and alignment of the impressionist aesthetic are the subject of Chapter Four. Chapter Five examines the representations of, and implications for, identity, while Chapter Six develops the more radical implications of the fifth: investigating the consequences, opportunities and dangers of heightened subjectivity. The Conclusion locates the position and status of impressionism in literary history, looking beyond its relationship with modernism to anticipations of the theories and practices of our own time.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: Ph.D.
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, Dept. of English
Leicester Theses

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