The nexus amidst Victorian and Neo-Victorian fiction: Bridging the void between past and present.
Date of Issue2009
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
As neo-Victorian fiction continues to evolve in the contemporary era, present day readers are invited to reflect on the Victorian age. It becomes clear that the present is not an isolated fragment of time. Rather, it is very much rooted in the Victorian past. With neo-Victorian fiction, one is constantly re-negotiating what it means to be the “New Victorian”. This thesis is a comparative study between Victorian sensation fictions and neo-Victorian novels. The analysis will be structured into three parts. “Sensation Novel- The Paradox” will deal with the mechanisms of the Victorian sensation novel and the ways in which neo-Victorian fiction reworks this formula to fit into the current context. “Reworking of Clichés- A Process of Re-conceptualization” will highlight the stereotypes that were subverted in the Victorian era and continues to be challenged in the modern-day context. The focus of this section will be on two aspects-the stereotypes regarding absent feminine strength and passive sexuality and the textuality that functions as a technique to approach rewriting in neo-Victorian fiction. “Insanity- The Matrix for Human Experience” deals with the elusive nature of insanity in both genres discussed here. The differences between the treatment of madness in the chosen Victorian and neo-Victorian novels and its relation to human experience will be discussed. With the conclusion, I intend to establish the effectiveness of neo-Victorian fiction in bridging the gap between the past and the present. The contemporary readers’ need to escape from the current decadent society and seek refuge in the Victorian past will be shown as I discuss the efficacy of neo-Victorian fiction.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University