Writing/Reading the Victorian Past through Spiritualist Séances in A. S. Byatt's "The Conjugal Angel"

Authors

  • Lejla Mulalić University of Sarajevo

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/elope.7.1.73-85

Keywords:

A.S. Byatt, “The Conjugal Angel”, gender norms, historiographic metafiction, metaphor, postmodernism, spiritualism, séance

Abstract

One of the dominant concerns of postmodern writing is to discuss the importance and modes of knowing the past. The aim of this paper is to explore how the British novelist A.S. Byatt rereads the Victorian past in her novella “The Conjugal Angel” by using Victorian spiritualism as a multilayered metaphor for dynamic communication between the past and present. Spiritualist rituals will also be read as a cultural practice characterised by the playful undermining of gender roles and norms. Finally, the paper will discuss spiritualist séances as a metaphor for the writing and reading of historiographic metafiction seen as a process of restless summoning of and intense communicating with the ghosts/texts from the past.

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Published

17.05.2010

How to Cite

Mulalić, L. (2010). Writing/Reading the Victorian Past through Spiritualist Séances in A. S. Byatt’s "The Conjugal Angel". ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries, 7(1), 73–85. https://doi.org/10.4312/elope.7.1.73-85