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Antonia White and Manic-Depressive Illness$
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Patricia Moran

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474418218

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474418218.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

An Unfinished Story: White’s Fictions of the Self

An Unfinished Story: White’s Fictions of the Self

(p.146) Chapter 4 An Unfinished Story: White’s Fictions of the Self
Antonia White and Manic-Depressive Illness

Patricia Moran

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines how the consolidation of White’s identity narrative influenced her later novels. Seventeen years separate the publication of White’s first novel from the later three in the series, years in which White revised her imaginative reconstruction of the father-daughter relationship and the family constellation more generally to reflect her now unshakeable conviction that the daughter’s illness develops from her vexed relationship with her father. The later novels thus trace the emergence of ‘schizophrenia’ in White’s protagonist. At the same time, White’s fidelity to her own experiences of illness surfaces in her explorations of depression and mania, providing a hitherto overlooked account of the onset of manic-depressive illness. The fractures that characterise both composition and publication history constitute important sites that reveal the evolution of White’s identity narratives and the subsequent changes in her fictional representations of illness, Catholicism and the father-daughter relationship as well as family dynamics more generally.

Keywords:   Frost in May, The Lost Traveller, The Sugar House, Beyond the Glass, Affective Disorder, Schizophrenia, Surrealism, Psychosis, Depression, Father-daughter relationship

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