Ambivalent recognition [thesis]

Rebecca Thorndike-Breeze
What we now call "psychological realism" centers upon representations of intimacy as the genre's authors strive toward "narrative realism and the mimesis of consciousness" (Cohn 8). According to Dorrit Cohn, psychological realism spans the years between 1850 and 1950, and its "inward turn" searches out the least accessible aspects of character. Intimate knowledge of characters in fiction make those characters "rounder," more "realistic," though this kind of intimate representation depends upon
more » ... hat Cohn calls "fabrication," what authors imagine unknown inner lives are like (6). The multiplicity of intimate inner lives and intimate relationships represented in novels of psychological realism creates the impression that intimacy exceeds its contemporary social categories, both in novels and in life. Beginning with two late novels by George Eliot, Middlemarch (1871-2) and Daniel Deronda (1876), moving to the turn of the century with Thomas Hardy's The Woodlanders (1887) and Jude the Obscure (1895), and finally into Virginia Woolf's modernism with Mrs Dalloway (1926) and The Waves (1931), this project traces the mutual impact of psychological realism's inward turn and the ways we understand intimacy. All three of these authors conceive of intimacy as not only emotional, but also spatial, and it is through this spatial dimension that the dense diversity of intimacies is made most clear. I wish to thank Northeastern University for awarding me the Spring 2012 Dissertation Completion Fellowship, which allowed me the unfettered time necessary to bring this project to completion. Laura Green, Mary Loeffelholz, and Patrick Mullen have my sincere thanks for their keen insights about my work, as well as their support of this project from its inception. Particularly I thank Laura Green for candid discussions of the issues at hand in this project, which generated excellent work and great pride. Your enthusiasm for my project kept me going. Thank you to the Graduate Consortium of Women's Studies dissertation writing workshop, of which I was a member from 2008 to 2009 with Susan Staves, and 2010 to 2011 with Sue Lanser. Professors Staves and Lanser both taught me how to write daily and how to write well, and for that I will always be grateful. I thank my writing group partners
doi:10.17760/d20002462 fatcat:dt32yqlbcndrreybfuhsosx644