Trim: 6⅜ x 9½
978-0-7391-6608-6 • Hardback • December 2011 • $108.00 • (£83.00)
Anna Koustinoudi is an Adjunct Faculty Member at Aristotle University (Greece). Her research interests and publications focus on nineteenth-century prose, especially on Victorian women’s novelistic production, as well as on gender theory in combination with psychoanalytic and narrative theory.
Chapter 1: Elizabeth Gaskell's First-Person Narratives in the Context of Victorian Culture and Society: Theoretical Perspectives on First-Person Narration
Chapter 2: The Communal "I"/Eye: Narrating the Individual and the Community in Cranford's Heterotopic Utopia
Chapter 3: The Voyeuristic "I"/Eye: Disavowal, Defence, and Voyeurism in the Narration of "Six Weeks at Heppenheim" and Cousin Phillis
Chapter 4 : The Gothic "I"/Eye: The Ghostliness of Identity in "The Poor Clare" and "The Grey Woman"
Elizabeth Gaskell and Jacques Lacan are brought together here in a sophisticated and original exploration of the psychoanalytic implications of Gaskell's narrative strategies. Through a close reading of Gaskell's first-person fiction, Koustinoudi throws light on the gaps and dislocations that lurk within these deceptively simple narratives, revealing Gaskell to have had as much in common with her modernist successors as with her Victorian contemporaries. Indispensable for students of Gaskell, this book also makes a significant contribution to the field of psychoanalytic literary criticism.
— Ruth Parkin-Gounelas, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Dr. Koustinoudi presents an insightful post-structural analysis of a selection of Elizabeth Gaskell’s first-person fiction (Cranford, Cousin Phillis, the 'German' short stories 'Six Weeks at Heppenheim' and 'The Grey Woman' and the Gothic tale, 'The Poor Clare'), methodically exploring the narrative subjectivity of these five works. By elucidating Gaskell’s balanced handling of the tension between the I and the eye of these prose tales, Koustinoudi presents a strongly theoretical gaze that points the reader to achieving an understanding and appreciation of Gaskell's Victorian reality. She applies the work of Lacan to her reading of Gaskell, noting that just as Lacan informs that reading, Gaskell's writing is informed by her challenge of Descartes's 'notions of the self's wholeness and centrality' through her plots, her characters and (especially) her narrators.
— Nancy S. Weyant, Gaskell Bibliographer and associate professor emeritus, Bloomsburg University