Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

R. Murray Gilchrist's short fiction: A missing link between English decadence and Victorian feminism
by Bush, Laurence C., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2010, 117; 1493000
Abstract (Summary)

In the mid-1890s, forgotten author Robert Murray Gilchrist (1868-1917) wrote outré stories that bridge the disparate worlds of Decadence and feminism, engaging issues of gender, sexual passion, and repression. After outlining his life and work in the first chapter, the second chapter argues that his tales add serious fiction to the satiric and poetic English Decadence movement. Like Vernon Lee's work, his stories embody the Decadent theme of the unobtainable ideal experience, uniquely presenting passion as an elusive rejuvenating force. Using Diane Hoeveler's theory of Gothic feminism, the third chapter analyzes gender and same-sex desire in his stories, and his reversal of the roles of hero and heroine to attack his era's view of gender roles. The final chapter applies Helga Druxes's feminist motif of the female Faust to his tales, examining his progressive thinking about female roles and his overarching theme of sexual passion's tragic death under Victorian repression.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hultgren, Neil
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/05M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: British and Irish literature
Publication Number: 1493000
ISBN: 9781124607092
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