Impressions and Characters: Travel Writing and Narration in the Novel from Victorian to Modern
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] In this dissertation, through examination of narrative form, particularly narration and characterization, in both travel writing and fiction by several authors from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, I demonstrate how travel writing and the novel co-evolve as genres across this period. I propose that travel writing first functioned, especially in the work of Charles Dickens, as a textual space for experimentation with the form and style of narrative. The results of those narrative experiments then become integral to the shape and structure of Dickens's novels throughout the remainder of his career. After Dickens, as the prestige of travel writing rose, the authors I survey began to find in the conventional discourses of travel writing the basis for innovations in their narrative style. The two primary discourses that I examine--impressionism and the rhetoric of national character--become some of the foundations for narrative innovations involving narrative voice, perspective, and characterization from the 1880s onward. These discourses contributed significantly to developments in the form of the novel as a genre and over time resulted in narrative styles that increasingly prioritized interiority and psychological complexity, qualities that critics have since identified with literary modernism.--From public.pdf
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