First published in 2005, this collection of essays brings together British, European and North American literary critics and cultural historians with diverse specialities and interests to demonstrate the range of contemporary perspectives through which George Gissing’s fiction can be viewed. It offers both closely contextualised historical readings and broader cultural and philosophical assessments and engages with a number of themes including: the cultural and social formation of class and gender, social mobility and its unsettling effects on individual and collective identities, the place of writing in emerging mass culture, and the possibility and limits of fiction as critical intervention.
This book will be of interest to those studying the works of George Gissing, and 19th century literature more broadly.
Table of Contents
Notes on Contributors; Introduction: Gissing’s Critical Contexts Martin Ryle and Jenny Bourne Taylor; 1. Baltherwicks and Busybodies: Gissing on the Culture of Philanthropic Slumming Diana Maltz 2. Her Appearance in Public: Sexual Danger, Urban Space and the Working Woman Emma Liggins 3. ‘Just a morsel to stay your appetite’: Gissing and the Cultural Politics of Food Scott McCracken 4. The Strange Case of Godwin Peak: Double Consciousness in Born in Exile Jenny Bourne Taylor 5. Sex and the City: Gissing, Helmholtz, Freud David Glover 6. The Discontents of Everyday Life: Civilization and Pathology of Masculinity in The Whirlpool Simon J. James 7. Whirlpools of Modernity: European Naturalism and the Urban Phantasmagoria Deborah Parsons 8. ‘To show a man of letters’: Gissing, Cultural Authority and Literary Modernism Martin Ryle 9. New Grub Street’s Self Consciousness Christina Lupton and Tilman Reitz 10. The Voice of the Unclassed: Gissing and Twentieth-Century English Fiction Patrick Parrinder; Index