This book provides a comprehensive reflection of the processes of canonization, (un)pleasurable consumption and the emerging predominance of topics and theoretical concerns in neo-Victorianism. The repetitions and reiterations of the Victorian in contemporary culture document an unbroken fascination with the histories, technologies and achievements, as well as the injustices and atrocities, of the nineteenth century. They also reveal that, in many ways, contemporary identities are constructed through a Victorian mirror image fabricated by the desires, imaginings and critical interests of the present.
Providing analyses of current negotiations of nineteenth-century texts, discourses and traumas, this volume explores the contemporary commodification and nostalgic recreation of the past. It brings together critical perspectives of experts in the fields of Victorian literature and culture, contemporary literature, and neo-Victorianism, with contributions by leading scholars in the field including Rosario Arias, Cora Kaplan, Elizabeth Ho, Marie-Luise Kohlke and Sally Shuttleworth. Neo-Victorian Literature and Culture interrogates current fashions in neo-Victorianism and their ideological leanings, the resurrection of cultural icons, and the reasons behind our relationship with and immersion in Victorian culture.
Introduction: Fashioning the Neo-Victorian Nadine Boehm-Schnitker and Susanne Gruss Part I: Commodifying the Past: Canonization, Consumption, Pleasure 1. Mining the Neo-Victorian Vein: Prospecting for Gold, Buried Treasure, and Uncertain Metal Marie-Luise Kohlke 2. On Metalepsis, Immersion and Re-Plotting of the Victorians Rosa Karl 3. Material Culture and Nostalgia: Present-ing the Past in Cranford Anne Enderwitz and Doris Feldmann Part II: Resurrecting Cultural Icons: Spectral Returns and Revisitations 4. ‘Eminent Victorians’ and Neo-Victorian Fictional Biography Lena Steveker 5. The Firm of Charles and Charles: Authorship, Science and Neo-Victorian Masculinities Cora Kaplan 6. Bio-Fiction: Neo-Victorian Revisions of Genetics and Evolution – The Cases of Darwin and Mendel Eckart Voigts-Virchow 7. Neo-Victorian Gay Fictions: A Critique of Stereotyping and Self-Reflexivity Nadine Boehm-Schnitker Part III: Traces, Traumas and Retrospective Anxieties 8. Traces and Vestiges of the Victorian Past in Contemporary Literature Rosario Arias 9. Reading the Phantom of Family Trauma in The Thirteenth Tale and The Ghost Writer Susanne Gruss 10. Narratives of Sexual Trauma in Contemporary Adaptations of The Woman in White Jessica Cox Part IV: Refashioning (Neo-)Victorian Discourses 11. The Legacy of Medical Sensationalism in The Crimson Petal and the White and The Dress Lodger Christy Rieger 12. The Neo-Victorian-at-Sea: Towards a Global Memory of the Victorian Elizabeth Ho 13. From Retro- to Neo-Victorian Fiction and Beyond: Fearful Symmetries Sally Shuttleworth