Elizabeth Bowen and the art of fiction: a study of her theory and practice
Hanna, John Greist
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The relationship of Elizabeth Bowen's critical theory to her practice has not yet received detailed treatment. Her essay "Notes on Writing a Novel" (1945), a comprehensive and revealing source of practical formulations on method, reveals her basic traditionalism and her striking individual qualities as well. It serves, furthermore, to bring her novels into relief and it suggests tentative conclusions about her place in contemporary literature. Examined here in detail are the eight main divisions of the essay: Plot, Characters, Scene, Dialogue, Visual Angle, Moral Angle, Advance, and Relevance of special importance in considering each of the eight novels are the following: under Plot, "the non-poetic statement of a poetic truth," "mystification as emphasis," "action of language," and "what-is-to-be-said"; under Characters, "materialization," "unpredictability and inevitability," and "diminution of alternatives"; under Scene, "the mood of the 'Now,'" "categoricalness," "staticness," and "dramatic use"; and under Dialogue, "faked realistic qualities" and "functional use." [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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