The ‘Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ and narrative closure

July 27, 2009

Mmm, mmm, mm, YES:

Jan B. Gordon’s argument [in ‘Gossip, Diary, Letter, Text: Anne Brontë’s Narrative Tenant and the Problematic of the Gothic Sequel’, ELH 51:4 (Winter, 1984): 735] is that the

“framed discourse that encloses more free-floating, incomplete, or discontinuous discourse in Gothic structures is not a formal component of the radical thematic of the mode, but rather serves to restrain and repress. The salvation of texts by arbitrary supplements, the recovery of subversive discourse, does for “fallen” writing what the Rev. Brontë’s sermons did for the unregenerate soul: they define an ending that restores the fiction of a distinction between the elect and the babble of tongues. Closure restores metaphor—and hence likeness and difference—at the cost of containing a crisis in discourse.”

A brilliant article; thought-stretching, interesting, totally relevant to my thesis… meeheehee.

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