Degree Year

1989

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

English

Advisor(s)

Lawrence Buell

Keywords

Elizabeth Stoddard, Morgesons, Feminine

Abstract

My concern in this paper is primarily with Elizabeth Stoddard's The Morgesons, though I will close with a few observations about the canonization and exclusion of literary works. Stoddard's novel, published in 1862, holds great interest because, among other things, it is in the position of possibly attaining a wider readership, if not canonization, and yet its success is hardly assured. Independent of its particular fictive character, it is a rewarding and strange work to read because of its positioning. Its 1984 republishing, edited and with an introduction by Lawrence Buell and Sandra Zagarell, has been variously received, achieving a degree of success and suffering a degree of rejection; presently, it's selling fairly well but it's future is yet to be determined. Far from a privileged text, it is open to the kind of criticism discussed above, where individual readers have a greater sense of empowerment.

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