Human Evolution and Fantastic Victorian Fiction

Human Evolution and Fantastic Victorian Fiction

This book shows how fantastic Victorian and early Edwardian fictions—utopias, dystopias, nonsense literature, gothic horror, and children’s fables—untether human and nonhuman animal agency from this increasingly orthodox account of ...

Author: Anna Neill

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000392722

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 182

View: 136

Following the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, Victorian anthropology made two apparently contradictory claims: it distinguished "civilized man" from animals and "primitive" humans and it linked them though descent. Paradoxically, it was by placing human history in a deep past shaped by minute, incremental changes (rather than at the apex of Providential order) that evolutionary anthropology could assert a new form of human exceptionalism and define civilized humanity against both human and nonhuman savagery. This book shows how fantastic Victorian and early Edwardian fictions—utopias, dystopias, nonsense literature, gothic horror, and children’s fables—untether human and nonhuman animal agency from this increasingly orthodox account of the deep past. As they imagine worlds that lift the evolutionary constraints on development and as they collapse evolution into lived time, these stories reveal (and even occupy) dynamic landscapes of cognitive descent that contest prevailing anthropological ideas about race, culture, and species difference.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Motherless Creations

Motherless Creations

... Kirk Combe The Biopolitics of Gender in Science Fiction Feminism and Female Machines Emily Cox-Palmer-White Character and the Supernatural in Shakespeare and Achebe Kenneth Usongo Human Evolution and Fantastic Victorian Fiction Anna ...

Author: Wendy C. Nielsen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000582413

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 262

View: 851

This book explains the elimination of maternal characters in American, British, French, and German literature before 1890 by examining motherless creations: Pygmalion’s statue, Frankenstein’s creature, homunculi, automata, androids, golems, and steam men. These beings typify what is now called artificial life, living systems made through manufactured means. Fantasies about creating life ex-utero were built upon misconceptions about how life began, sustaining pseudoscientific beliefs about the birthing body. Physicians, inventors, and authors of literature imagined generating life without women to control the process of reproduction and generate perfect progeny. Thus, some speculative fiction before 1890 belongs to the literary genealogy of transhumanism, the belief that technology will someday transform some humans into superior, immortal beings. Female motherless creations tend to operate as sexual companions. Male ones often emerge as subaltern figures analogous to enslaved beings, illustrating that reproductive rights inform readers’ sense of who counts as human in fictions of artificial life.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Genre and Reception in the Gothic Parody

Genre and Reception in the Gothic Parody

... Kirk Combe The Biopolitics of Gender in Science Fiction Feminism and Female Machines Emily Cox-Palmer-White Character and the Supernatural in Shakespeare and Achebe Kenneth Usongo Human Evolution and Fantastic Victorian Fiction Anna ...

Author: Kerstin-Anja Münderlein

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000487770

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 232

View: 634

This book brings together an analysis of the theoretical connection of genre, reception, and frame theory and a practical demonstration thereof, using a set of parodies of the first wave of the Gothic novel, ranging from well-known titles such as Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, to little known and researched titles such as Mary Charlton’s Rosella. Münderlein traces the development of socio-political debates conducted in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries on female roles, behavior and subversion from the subtly subversive Gothic novel to the Gothic parody. Combining two major areas of research, literary criticism and Gothic studies, the book provides both a new take on an ongoing debate in literary criticism as well as an in-depth study of a virtually neglected aspect of Gothic studies, the Gothic parody.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Lovecraft in the 21st Century

Lovecraft in the 21st Century

... Kirk Combe The Biopolitics of Gender in Science Fiction Feminism and Female Machines Emily Cox-Palmer-White Character and the Supernatural in Shakespeare and Achebe Kenneth Usongo Human Evolution and Fantastic Victorian Fiction Anna ...

Author: Antonio Alcala Gonzalez

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000531657

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 320

View: 161

Lovecraft in the 21st Century assembles reflections from a wide range of perspectives on the significance of Lovecraft’s influence in contemporary times. Building on a focus centered on the anthropocene, adaptation, and visual media, the chapters in this collection focus on the following lines: Adaptation of Lovecraft’s legacy in theater, television, film, graphic narratives, and game artwork The connection between the writer’s legacy and his life Considering capitalism, the posthuman, and the Anthropocene when reading Lovecraft How contemporary authors have worked through the implicit racial and sexual politics in Lovecraft’s fiction. Reading Lovecraft’s fiction in light of contemporary approaches to gender and sexuality
Categories: Literary Criticism

The Evolutionary Imagination in Late Victorian Novels

The Evolutionary Imagination in Late Victorian Novels

The rudimentary society of the Beast Folk, however, with its overt exaggerations and distortions of human culture, ... The realistic and the fantastic, with its allegorical and satiric weight, do not quite mesh; Prendick continually ...

Author: John Glendening

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781317032465

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 281

View: 842

Dominated by Darwinism and the numerous guises it assumed, evolutionary theory was a source of opportunities and difficulties for late Victorian novelists. Texts produced by Wells, Hardy, Stoker, and Conrad are exemplary in reflecting and participating in these challenges. Not only do they contend with evolutionary complications, John Glendening argues, but the complexities and entanglements of evolutionary theory, interacting with multiple cultural influences, thoroughly permeate the narrative, descriptive, and thematic fabric of each. All the books Glendening examines, from The Island of Doctor Moreau and Dracula to Heart of Darkness, address the interrelationship between order and chaos revealed and promoted by evolutionary thinking of the period. Glendening's particular focus is on how Darwinism informs novels in relation to a late Victorian culture that encouraged authors to stress, not objective truths illuminated by Darwinism, but rather the contingencies, uncertainties, and confusions generated by it and other forms of evolutionary theory.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Dinosaurs in Fantastic Fiction

Dinosaurs in Fantastic Fiction

Through a peculiar retrograde “de-volution,” principal characters and protagonists reflecting the human condition in dino-fiction have moved steadily downward in evolutionary scale, from (in the earliest tales) Victorian intellectuals ...

Author: Allen A. Debus

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 9780786426720

Category: History

Page: 231

View: 821

"This literary survey examines how paleoliterature originated, developed and matured from its inception to the present day. It follows trends on the crafting of classic dinosaurs, investigating the figurative and metaphoric meaning of fictional dinosaursand related prehistoria. An appendix provides brief summaries of deserving dinosaur texts, organized alphabetically by author. "--Provided by publisher.
Categories: History

The Victorian Novel

The Victorian Novel

Focused on the cross - currents of contempor ary religious belief , her novels lacked the wider human vision required to ... to question Victorian concepts of human progress in the light of evolution and contemporary scientific theory .

Author: Louis James

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0631226281

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 278

View: 975

This inspiring survey challenges conventional ways of viewing the Victorian novel. Provides time maps and overviews of historical and social contexts. Considers the relationship between the Victorian novel and historical, religious and bibliographic writing. Features short biographies of over forty Victorian authors, including Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Offers close readings of over 30 key texts, among them Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), as well as key presences, such as John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (Pt 1, 1676, Pt 2, 1684). Also covers topics such as colonialism, scientific speculation, the psychic and the supernatural, and working class reading.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Darwinism as Religion

Darwinism as Religion

The fantastic fiction of fin de siècle. ... Richard Owen: Victorian Naturalist. ... of the influence of the philosophical ideas of John F.W. Herschel and William Whewell on the development of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

Author: Michael Ruse

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780190241025

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 329

View: 708

'Darwinism as Religion' argues that the theory of evolution given by Charles Darwin in the 19th-century has always functioned as much as a secular form of religion as anything purely scientific. Through the words of novelists and poets, Michael Ruse argues that Darwin took us from the secure world of Christian faith into a darker, less friendly world of chance and lack of meaning.
Categories: Literary Criticism

A Companion to British Literature Volume 4

A Companion to British Literature  Volume 4

These and other groundbreakingideas emerging from evolutionary biology became central to the worlds imagined in Victorian fiction. The view that there isa providential order wasdismissed by many. Important characteristics of living ...

Author: Robert DeMaria, Jr.

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9781118731802

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 797

View: 859

A Companion to British Literature, Victorian and Twentieth-Century Literature, 1837 - 2000
Categories: Literary Criticism

Charles Darwin And the Evolution Revolution

Charles Darwin And the Evolution Revolution

Levine, George L. Darwin and the Novelists: Patterns ofScience in Victorian Fiction. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988. Lewin, Roger. Human Evolution: An Illustrated Introduction. New York: Freeman, 1984. ———. Thread ofLife.

Author: Rebecca Stefoff

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780195120288

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 130

View: 998

Examines the personality as well as the thought process which led this naturalist to his discoveries which have helped shape our understanding of the natural world.
Categories: Biography & Autobiography